China targets 4-pct inflation rise, price stability top priority

10:13, March 06, 2011      

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Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao delivers a government work report during the opening meeting of the Fourth Session of the 11th National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, March 5, 2011. (Xinhua/Huang Jingwen)

China will make stabilizing consumer prices a top priority this year and contain inflation increase at around 4 percent, Premier Wen Jiabao said Saturday during the parliament's annual session.

The target, topping last year's 3-percent aim, is 0.7 percentage points higher than the actual inflation growth rate reported in 2010.

"Recently, prices have risen fairly quickly and inflation expectations have increased. This problem concerns the people's wellbeing, bears on overall interests and affects social stability. We must therefore make it our top priority in macroeconomic control to keep overall price levels stable," Wen said at the opening of the fourth session of the 11th National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature.

In Wen's government work report, taming inflation and keeping the overall level of prices stable top the agenda of the government this year, followed by further boosting domestic demand, and strengthening the position of agriculture as the foundation of the economy.

The move signalled the government's increasing concern about rapid price rises and its determination to solve the problem among "issues that the masses feel strongly about".

The premier vowed the government will not allow price rises to affect the normal lives of low-income people.

China's January inflation remained stubbornly high at 4.9 percent despite a series of measures taken to cap price rises. The growth accelerated from 4.6 percent in December but was lower than the 28-month high of 5.1 percent in November.

However, price pressure is still mounting. Food price, which makes up about one third of the basket of goods used to calculate China's consumer price index (CPI), surged 10.3 percent in January.


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