China's export blues

China's manufacturing slump isn't going to turn around soon, at least according to Premier Wen Jiabao.

That's no surprise to anyone who has been watching the sector for the past few years, as it's been beaten and battered amid the global economic meltdown and limping recovery. But the bigger question for this country remains unanswered: How will China's economy cope with a continuing slump in the manufacturing sector?

Wen, in a speech in Hunan province and a statement posted to the Chinese government's official website, said the country's is facing a two-edged sword economically in the coming months. China often sees slower economic times at the start of the year when the Chinese New Year holiday cuts into production.

“We see downside pressure on our economy and elevated inflation at the same time,” Wen said, in a translation according to Bloomberg. “We also face problems of weakening external demand and rising costs for companies.”