China Plans More Steps to Curb Lending, Investment, Wen Says By Yanping Li and Zhang Dingmin http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=adtY44Ifcyg0&refer=home March 5 (Bloomberg) -- China will take more steps to curb investment and lending, Premier Wen Jiabao said, as the government tries to stop the world's fastest-growing major economy from overheating. The country will further regulate real estate, Wen told the annual meeting of the National People's Congress in Beijing. China needs to prevent cash from the country's record trade surplus from stoking inflation and raising the risk of asset bubbles and investment in unneeded factories. The economy accounts for about a tenth of global growth and expanded by 10.7 percent in 2006, the fastest pace in 11 years. China's growth targets are ``regularly set and regularly exceeded,'' said Stephen Green, senior economist at Standard Chartered Bank Plc. in Shanghai. Wen reiterated the target in China's five-year plan of 8 percent annual growth in 2007. His speech mostly restated existing policies. The government will control excess liquidity and further boost domestic consumption, Wen said. China is trying to reduce a reliance on exports and achieve more balanced growth. The boom in overseas sales has pushed foreign exchange reserves to $1 trillion and created tension with trading partners. The central bank raised interest rates in April and August and last month ordered banks to set aside more money as reserves for the fifth time in eight months, seeking to prevent an overheating. ``We want growth to be slower, but it's not sure whether we can achieve 8 percent,'' central bank Governor Zhou Xiaochuan said Feb. 9. Trade Surplus China's 2006 trade surplus ballooned by 74 percent to $177.5 billion. Consumer prices rose more quickly in December and January than in the previous 20 months, with increases of 2.8 percent and 2.2 percent respectively. Central bank assistant governor Yi Gang said last month that the government is determined to fight inflation this year. Investment and lending may rebound, increasing the risk of accelerating consumer price increases, the People's Bank of China said in February. Despite a series of tightening measures, China's new yuan lending last year totaled 3.18 trillion yuan (410 billion), overshooting the bank's target by 27 percent.