China to keep tight monetary policy, inflation controls
( dpa ) - China plans to continue a tight monetary policy and will work to control the country's rampant inflation this year, top officials said on Thursday.
Curbs on inflation, which hit an 11-year high of 7.1 per cent in January, must rely on tight monetary control and related government policies to meet the target of holding inflation at last year's annual rate of 4.8 per cent, central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan told reporters.
"We are confident and have ample measures at our disposal to contain the full-year inflation rate below the targeted level," Ma Kai, minister of the National Development and Reform Commission, said at the same press conference.
Zhou said a faster appreciation of China's renminbi currency, which many Western critics say is moving too slowly, would ease inflation but could not become the major tool for controlling it.
Ma said the government faced other problems such as excessive growth of investment in fixed assets, money supply and credit, and its huge trade surplus.
The government would continue to resolve the problems "step by step", he said on the sidelines of the ongoing annual session of the National People's Congress.
Premier Wen Jiabao said at the opening of the congress on Wednesday that consumer-price inflation was "the biggest concern of the people" and one of several "prominent issues and deep-rooted problems affecting economic performance."
Wen outlined key economic policies for this year, with a broad target of 8-per-cent growth in gross domestic product.
China said it estimated gross domestic product grew by 11.4 per cent last year, the highest rate since 1994, with the World Bank recently forecasting growth of 9.6 per cent for this year.