10 Feb '11, 9am

China inflation could top 5% for first two months of 2011, economist says:

SHANGHAI: China's inflation could exceed five per cent for the first two months of the year, a government economist has warned in comments published by state media on Thursday. The forecast by Ba Shusong would mark an acceleration from December, when the country's consumer price index rose 4.6 per cent from a year earlier due to soaring food costs and higher raw material prices. Analysts have warned inflation will pick up in January and February due to increased demand ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday and extremely dry conditions across northern China, which have hit wheat and other crops. To counter rising prices, the central bank is likely to use stronger tightening policies in the first half of the year, especially the first quarter, to curb bank lending and limit inflation, Ba was cited as saying in the Financial News, a central bank-controlled newspaper. Ba is an e...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific_bu...

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