More than one in two Chinese regard the current level of inflation as "unacceptable," according to a central bank survey published on Tuesday.
A total of 51 percent of those questioned, a record high since the start of the poll in 1999, said they were dissatisfied with the current rate of inflation.
The quarterly survey, carried in the official China Securities Journal newspaper, also showed that people expected inflation to continue rising next quarter after accounting for seasonal fluctuations.
Premier Wen Jiabao told a news conference on Sunday that inflation, along with income inequality and corruption, could upset social stability and even undermine the power of the state if it got out of hand.
Consumer prices rose 2.7 percent in the year to February, up from a 1.5 percent pace in January and flirting with the government's 3 percent target for 2010.
Inflation now outstrips the rate on bank deposits. Ordinary Chinese are also alarmed by fast-rising property prices.
Bankers and businessmen expect the economy's gathering momentum to be sustained in the second quarter, according to the survey.
Demand for industrial loans quickened in the first quarter, but the appetite to take out mortgages eased — a possible sign that government steps to cool the property sector are working.
The survey showed growing optimism about the outlook for profits, a finding that the central bank said confirmed the rebound in industrial production.
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