Yahoo! News – China Says Economy Grew by 9.7 Percent: “Such high growth – far above the official 2004 target of 7 percent – has sparked fears of inflation and financial problems. But the figures released Friday were below analysts’ forecasts of a 10.6 percent rise, suggesting that government efforts to rein in the surging growth are working.

Consumer prices rose 3.6 percent in the first half of the year, the bureau said. That was below the 5 percent level that officials have said might prompt the central bank to consider raising interest rates for the first time in nine years.

China’s economy grew 9.1 percent last year. Booming expansion in some industries such as steel, cement and construction have strained energy and transport, pushing prices higher. “

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