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China's 2Q GDP up 9.5 percent

BEIJING, July 13 (UPI) -- China's economy grew 9.5 percent in the second quarter year-on-year, down slightly from 9.7 percent in the first quarter, the government said Wednesday.

The Wall Street Journal reported the second-quarter GDP growth was actually slightly higher than economists' forecast of 9.4 percent, saying this could trigger additional measures to curb inflation.

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The GDP growth in the first half of this year was 9.6 percent, the Chinese news agency Xinhua reported, citing the National Bureau of Statistics.

Bureau spokesman Sheng Laiyun said economic performance of the world's second-largest economy remains "generally good" and had developed according to the country's macro-economic regulation for the first half.

At the end of the first half, China's gross domestic product reached 20.446 trillion yuan or $3.146 trillion.

China's current concern is controlling inflation, which shot up to 6.4 percent year-on-year in June, the highest in three years and far above the government's target of 4 percent his year.

The June numbers pushed the consumer price index, the main gauge of inflation, to 5.4 percent in the first half of this year, the NBS said.

Inflation is being driven by food prices, which account for about a third of the CPI basket of goods. Food prices rose 11.8 percent in the first six months of this year, up from 11 percent in the first quarter.

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Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said the government needs to cool down consumer prices, which he said is the government's top priority, while avoiding major fluctuations in the country's economic growth.

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