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China's June inflation to ease: bank report

(Xinhua)

08:31, June 28, 2012

BEIJING, June 28 (Xinhua) -- China's inflation is expected to cool down significantly in June driven by falling food prices, according to a report released by the Bank of Communications on Wednesday.

The Consumer Price Index (CPI), a main gauge of inflation, will slow to around 2.4 percent in June, down from May's 3 percent, it said.

The report cited data collected by three ministries which found food prices, which take up a third of the weighting of the the calculation of CPI, in 50 major cities all declined.

According to the Ministry of Commerce, vegetable prices fell by a quarter in a month as large quantities of fresh veg were ready for sale. Pork prices declined by 18 percent despite the government's reserve calls. The report estimated food prices would fall by between 0.2 percent and 0.4 percent month on month.

The bank expects CPI to fall further in the second and third quarters of 2012 as they foresaw no fresh impetus for a price hike. But the data will pick up slightly in the fourth quarter, with the annual figure staying at around 3 percent, it forecast.

China set its yearly inflation target at 4 percent.

Although the pricing reform of water, electricity and natural gas use, as well as a string of newly approved fixed-asset investment projects would exert certain pressure on consumer prices, that would not change the whole picture, the report said.

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