China targets 4.8 percent inflation in 2008

BEIJING, March 5, 2008 (AFP) – China has set an inflation target of around 4.8 percent for 2008, according to the text of a speech Premier Wen Jiabao is to deliver to the national legislature later Wednesday. Wen will deliver the speech when parliament opens around 9:00 am (0100 GMT). The speech was given to reporters ahead of time. “Because factors driving up prices are still at work, some upward pressure on prices will remain great this year,” Wen will tell the National People’s Congress, according to the text.

“Last year’s price increases are still exerting a fairly strong influence and quite a few factors are creating inflationary pressure, making it difficult to bring price increases under control.”

Inflation in the world’s fourth-largest economy hit 4.8 percent last year, the steepest rise in 11 years.