China’s economy improved in the latest quarter but faced “downward pressure”, Premier Li Keqiang said yesterday.

Li said the government would avoid introducing “strong stimulus” but increase the strength of targeted measures to shore up growth.

Speaking at a news conference with visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Li promised to push ahead with market-opening reforms.

China’s economic growth slowed to 7.4 percent in the first quarter over a year earlier. Li gave no indication how much stronger growth in the three months to June might have been. The second-quarter gross domestic product data are due out next week.

“China’s economic performance in the second quarter has been improved from that in the first quarter. However, we cannot lower our guard against downward pressure,” Li said. – Sapa-AP