Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Wen: China faces inflation pressure

Wen: China faces inflation pressure

BEIJING, China (AP) -- Premier Wen Jiabao says China faces mounting pressure for prices to rise and must address problems of unstable and unsustainable growth.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao speaks after the closing ceremony of the National People's Congress Tuesday.

Wen's comments Tuesday at a news conference came as the government has spent months trying to cool a sharp rise in prices that has hit China's poor majority hard.

Wen said the country faces "mounting inflationary pressure" and the "potential risk of drastic economic fluctuations."

The government is struggling to cool inflation that saw prices soar by 8.7 percent in February -- the highest level in nearly 12 years -- driven by a 23.3 percent jump in politically sensitive food prices.

The economy is expected to grow by at least 9 percent this year after expanding by 11.4 percent in 2007.

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