2013 CPI likely Lower than Target

CHINA’S inflation may be 3% this year, lower than the official 3.5% target, as weaker demand and abundant food supply will partly offset inflationary pressure, according to the top economic planning body.

The prices of raw materials and resources are expected to decline in the first three months of this year due to slower economic growth in 2012, the price monitoring unit of the National Development and Reform Commission said in a report yesterday published in the China Securities Journal.

For the first quarter, consumer prices may rise about 2.8% from the same period a year earlier, while inflation is expected to accelerate gradually in the following quarters to above 3% by the year-end, the report said.

Higher inflation is expected due to a rebound in the property market, rising labor cost, adjustment of pricing mechanism for oil, electricity and gas, and an over-abundant global liquidity caused by an easy monetary stance of major economies.

The report pointed out the public expects price changes to shift from downward to upward. “The reality and public mentality will both trigger price rises this year.”

Last week, Premier Wen Jiabao set the targets for annual inflation this year at 3.5% and economic growth at 7.5%. The respective targets were 2.6% and 7.8% last year.

Standard Chartered Bank projects inflation may hit 4% this year and GDP growth 8.3%.

~ Shanghai Daily, March 12, 2013 ~

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