China’s economic growth hits 13-year high amid inflation fears

BEIJING, Jan 24, 2008 (AFP) – China’s economy grew a blistering 11.4 percent in 2007, reaching its highest level in 13 years, the government said Thursday, warning more needed to be done to address the rising threat of inflation. China’s policy-makers have long complained that consumption is too small and the savings rate too high, and have tried various measures to lift it, including a boost to salaries. The Asian juggernaut saw a fifth consecutive year of double-digit growth last year, with inflation at an 11-year high, the National Bureau of Statistics said, admitting that overheating in the economy remained a possibility.

“The risk of the economy shifting from rapid (growth) to overheating still exists,” Xie Fuzhan, the statistics bureau’s head, told a briefing in Beijing.

In absolute terms, China’s economy last year totalled 24.7 trillion yuan, or 3.4 trillion dollars according to the exchange rate at the end of 2007.

Growth in the fourth quarter of 2007 was 11.2 percent, a slight moderation from 11.5 percent in the third quarter, the bureau said.

Growth in Asia’s second-largest economy was boosted by a record-setting performance by the export sector and massive spending on infrastructure.

The bureau