Beijing to Keep Focus on Inflation

China's premier confirms that controlling prices tops the government's plan to keep the economy growing and avoid unrest. But the task won't be easy
Chinese Yuan notes at a Beijing bank. China's inflation rate in January topped 7%. Getty Images

While much of the world is obsessing about the global slowdown, Beijing policymakers are still trying to tap on the brakes. Chief among the concerns unveiled by Premier Wen Jiabao during his opening speech at the annual National People's Congress on Mar. 5 was inflation, which galloped ahead at 7.1% in January due in part to the worst winter weather in decades (BusinessWeek, 1/30/08). Wen promised a combination of "powerful measures" including subsidies, a lockdown on some types of investment through loan rationing, and selective price controls to tame inflation to a level of 4.8% for the year.

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