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People's Daily Online>>China Business

Inflation falls as growth dip imminent

By Zhu Shanshan (Global Times)

08:27, January 13, 2012

A customer is seen in a supermarket in Hangzhou, capital of east China's Zhejiang Province, Jan. 12, 2012. China's National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Thursday that the country's CPI rose 4.1 percent year on year in December of 2011 and it grew 5.4 percent on year for the whole 2011. (Xinhua/Ju Huanzong)

China’s inflation edged down to its slowest pace in more than a year, official figures showed Thursday, giving the government more room to further ease credit restrictions so as to spur economic growth this year.

The consumer price index (CPI), a key gauge of inflation, increased 4.1 percent year on year in December, slightly slower than the 4.2 percent growth in November, according to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

This marked the fifth inflation rate slowdown in a row since it peaked at a more than three-year high of 6.5 percent in July. The inflation rate for the whole of 2011 was 5.4 percent, much higher than the government’s full-year target of 4 percent.

The NBS attributed the decline in CPI growth to falling non-food prices, which rose 1.9 percent from a year earlier, but dropped 0.1 percent from November.

Food prices, a key driver of inflation, rose 9.1 percent year-on-year in December, up from 8.8 percent in November.

Analysts said seasonal factors were partly responsible for the mild inflation slowdown, as the Spring Festival in 2012 falls earlier than in previous years, fueling a spending splurge that pushed up retail sales of food, alcohol and gifts.

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