China Closes the Pump

Markets surged upwards yesterday on speculation that China might significantly increase stimulus spending in order to boost its economic growth this year, but Premier Wen Jiabao disappointed investors today by not announcing any increase in the original package. Nonetheless, he pledged that China would spend as necessary to get it through tough times, even if it meant taking on higher deficits than the country has been accustomed to in recent years, and set a goal of 8 percent growth this year as a target. "As long as we adopt the right policies and appropriate measures and implement them effectively, we will be able to achieve this target," Wen said.