China top economic planner predicts 6.5 to 7 percent growth

China's top economic planner is predicting that world's second-biggest economy will grow between 6.5 and 7 percent this year.

The chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission, Xu Shaoshi, said at a news conference Wednesday that downward pressure on the world's No.2 economy would continue in 2016.

But he said China would be able to achieve its growth target if it managed to generate sufficient jobs and maintain stable prices. Xu said governments at all levels would work to manage unemployment and prevent it from affecting social stability.

China's economy grew 6.9 percent last year, its slowest expansion in 25 years.

Growth has been steadily falling for the past half-decade as Beijing attempts to wean the economy away from exports and infrastructure investment and toward domestic consumption and services.