China's economy faces severe times this year: Li Keqiang

BEIJING (REUTERS) - China's economy faces a severe time this year and the government will be watching trends closely to ensure stable growth, Premier Li Keqiang was quoted by state radio as saying on Thursday.

"The situation that we face in 2014 remains severe," Mr Li was quoted as saying. He did not elaborate.

Mr Li was quoted separately by the government's website as saying that officials will strive to keep consumer prices stable.

Data this week showed China's economy grew 7.7 per cent in 2013, narrowly missing market forecasts for growth to slide to a 14-year trough of 7.6 per cent.