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Last updated at 16:22 GMT, Friday, 06 March 2009

China deficit biggest in decades

Summary

6 March 2009

To counter the challenges brought about by the global financial crisis, the Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has announced the biggest budget deficit in 60 years.

Reporter:
Shirong Chen in Beijing

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has announced the biggest budget deficit in 60 years

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In his lengthy speech, the Chinese Premier, Wen Jiabao, said China was faced with unprecedented difficulties and challenges. He said growth would be much slower, at around 8%, and there would be fewer jobs for graduates and migrant workers. The government's no longer confident that its GDP target will be met at the end of the year.

As the economy slows down, the government is promising to create nine million new jobs, two million fewer than last year. To counter the trend, the government's encouraging companies to keep staff on and has unveiled a budget deficit of 140bn US dollars, the biggest deficit since the Communist Party took power 60 years ago.

But there is no promise of extra money, apart from the already much publicised stimulus package of nearly 600bn US dollars. Chinese stock markets nosedived after his speech.

Shirong Chen, BBC News, Beijing

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Vocabulary

was faced with
experienced, felt
unprecedented
if something is unprecedented, it has never happened before
migrant workers
people who come to areas where there are many jobs (usually big cities) because they couldn't find a job where they originally come from
GDP
short for Gross Domestic Product - the total value of goods and services produced by a country in a year
To counter the trend
in order to change the way in which the situation seems to be developing
to keep staff on
not to sack employees, to continue to employ them
unveiled
announced, made publicly known
deficit
the amount by which money spent is more than money received
stimulus package
a large amount of money specifically allocated to boost, or revive the economy
nosedived
sharply fell/decreased in value

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