Consumer prices likely to rise 4.5% in 2011

BEIJING – China’s consumer prices may increase about 4.5 percent this year, exceeding the government’s full-year target of 4 percent, an official said Monday.

Chen Dongqi, deputy chief of the Macroeconomic Research Institute under the National Development and Reform Commission, said consumer prices are still controllable, dismissing concerns that inflation would rise like an “unbridled horse”.

The nation’s consumer price index (CPI), a main gauge of inflation, rose 5 percent in the first quarter of this year with the March CPI reaching 5.4 percent. This makes for the fastest CPI gains in more than two years.

Chen expected the country’s first-half CPI would exceed 5 percent and that the second-quarter figure will be even higher due to carryover effects.

However, the CPI is likely to drop during the second half as the nation’s new macroeconomic policies will gradually take effect, he added.

To mop up excess liquidity and curb inflation, China’s central bank has raised commercial banks’ reserve requirement ratio four times and hiked benchmark interest rates twice since the beginning of this year.

Fan Jianping, head of the economic forecast department at the State Information Center, said the country’s inflationary pressures have been relieved and will not increase for the time being.


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