CHINA'S overheated economy has shown signs of improvement less than a month after austerity measures were introduced, according to official reports. Xinhua (the New China News Agency) said last night ''positive effects'' were emerging following the introduction of remedial steps to ''strengthen macro control and readjustment'' over the economy. Overheated sectors including real estate, stocks and futures markets had shown signs of a ''cool-off'', it said. Furthermore, the value of the renminbi had rebounded on the swap market, the total amount of savings of the urban and rural population had soared and the price of raw materials, such as steel and cement, had gone down, Xinhua noted. It said the issuing of government bonds had also been completed as planned, which would help relieve the country's financial difficulty. Quoting experts, including a State Economic Information Centre official, Xinhua said: ''We have already seen clearly that the national economy is moving in a more healthy way along the road of reform.'' The lengthy article is apparently aimed at dispelling fears on the mainland and overseas that the ongoing austerity drive will scuttle the momentum of the Chinese economy. The report said the goal of the austerity programme was to get the economy running at an appropriate speed and in a sustained and healthy way. Citing remarks made by Executive Vice-Premier Zhu Rongji, it said the economy remained healthy and there was no need for across-the-board economic retrenchment. Experts said the economy would grow at an annual rate of 11.1 per cent and total fixed investment would be controlled within 1,000 billion yuan (HK$1,349 billion) if the austerity programme works. Xinhua said three indicators had demonstrated the current austerity programme was not ''across-the-board''. First, funds would be concentrated to solve major economic problems, especially the bottlenecks in infrastructure, as well as agriculture. Secondly, only unauthorised development zones would be asked to hold up. Thirdly, sectors that were not overheated, such as the exploration of natural resources, would not be affected.