China Supports Private Market

BEIJING (AP) -- China's leaders have affirmed support for private business within its state-dominated economy but gave no indication of initiatives to stimulate sagging growth following an annual planning meeting.

The meeting of the Communist Party's Central Committee that ended Thursday came as companies and investors are watching for Beijing to cut interest rates or take other steps to shore up China's weakest economic growth in nearly three decades.

A party statement said state-owned industry is the "main body" of the economy but promised to "unswervingly support" entrepreneurs. It affirmed promises to give market forces the "decisive role" in allocating resources.

The economy was mentioned in four brief sentences in the 23-paragraph statement, which was devoted mostly to political issues.