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Top statistician sees inflation pressure easing

(Xinhua)

08:42, March 06, 2012

BEIJING, March 5 (Xinhua) -- Ma Jiantang, China's top statistics official, on Monday said he expected inflationary pressure to ease a little as the economy slows this year.

Ma, however, warned of a resurgence in inflation if the problem is not taken seriously.

"We should by no means lower our guard [against inflation]," he told Xinhua on the sidelines of the annual parliamentary session, which opened Monday.

According to a government work report delivered by Premier Wen Jiabao at the annual parliamentary session, the Chinese government set the full-year inflation control target for 2012 at 4 percent, unchanged from the target in 2011.

The Consumer Price Index (CPI), a main gauge of inflation, well exceeded the government's goal and shot up by 5.4 percent last year.

"Potential factors such as rising labor costs that push up prices are still there," said Ma, director of the National Bureau of Statistics, which produces a string of economic data such as CPI and gross domestic product for the world's second-largest economy.

"If not properly controlled, the inflation potential will turn into real risks for our economy," Ma warned.

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