06 Mar '11, 10am

China inflation seen easing in February

BEIJING : A top Chinese official said on Sunday that inflation was likely to have slowed in February, just a day after Premier Wen Jiabao said reining in prices was the government's top priority this year. "In December and January, one can say the rate of price rises was a little lower than what was expected," Zhang Ping, head of the National Development and Reform Commission, China's top economic planning agency, told reporters. "The figures for February have still not come out, but from what I have heard, the consumer price index (CPI) for February could be even lower." China announced last month that January inflation remained stubbornly high at 4.9 per cent despite a series of measures taken to dampen price rises, including three interest rate hikes in the past four months. The CPI, the main inflation gauge, had hit a more than two-year high of 5.1 per cent in November...

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