China central bank says downturn risks rising

The risks of an economic downturn in China are growing and protectionist sentiment abroad could hurt global growth, the country's central bank said Tuesday. "The impact of the international financial crisis is intensifying, and the uncertainty of the domestic economy is increasing. The risk of an economic slowdown is expanding," the People's Bank of China said in a quarterly report. The bank said it would make sure adequate credit is available to support the government's multibillion-dollar stimulus package, which calls for heavy spending by Chinese companies on construction and other investments. Beijing is trying to rev up the economy after growth in the latest quarter fell to 9 percent from last year's 11.9 percent rate. Growth in exports and industrial output have slipped as global demand for Chinese exports weakens.