BEIJING - China's new Communist Party leaders promised Sunday to be ready to spend more if needed to shore up a shaky economic recovery and pledged more market-opening reforms.
In the first statement of their economic goals, the leadership wrapped up a two-day planning meeting by pledging continuity with earlier party plans aimed at making China's economy more productive and spreading prosperity to its poor. They gave no indication of plans for major changes.
The world's second-largest economy is gradually pulling out of its deepest slump since the 2008 global crisis, but weaker-than-expected November trade data prompted suggestions the rebound might be faltering.
The leadership under party general secretary Xi Jinping pledged a "proactive fiscal policy" and "prudent monetary policy" in a statement distributed by the official Xinhua news agency, referring to willingness to boost spending if needed and keep credit easy so long as inflation stays low.
Xi and other leaders who were installed last month in a once-a-decade handover of power are under pressure to overhaul an economic model based on exports and investment that delivered 30 years of rapid growth but is running out of steam.
The World Bank and other analysts say Beijing needs to curb dominant state companies and promote service industries and consumer spending to keep incomes rising. They say without prompt action, growth might slow abruptly, leaving China stuck at middle-income levels.
Companies, investors and political analysts are watching to see how far Xi and others on the seven-member ruling Standing Committee are willing to go to change the state-dominated economy. They face potential opposition from state companies that might be hurt by changes and have influential allies in the party.
"If China does not change its strategy, it risks falling into the 'middle-income trap'," Robert Zoellick, former World Bank president, said in a speech at a Beijing business conference last week.