HONG KONG: The head of China's central bank said Monday the country's economy was on the mend and expressed confidence that a government target of 8 percent growth this year would be met.
Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of the People's Bank of China, said signs the downturn in the world's third-largest economy was leveling off began to emerge in March.
"We can see that in recent times it is stabilizing and is actually taking a turn for the better," Zhou told reporters in Hong Kong.
"Supposing that the international financial crisis will not take a turn for the worse ... in the third and fourth quarters the situation will continue to improve and probably we can achieve the previously set" target for growth, he said.
Beijing has sought to insulate China from the global recession with a 4 trillion yuan ($586 billion) stimulus plan that calls for higher spending on construction of highways and other public works.
China's economic growth slowed to 6.1 percent in the first quarter, the weakest since quarterly records began in 1992.