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Increase in food prices sparks fears of renewed inflationary pressures

By Chen Yang (Global Times)

10:22, September 05, 2012

The average prices of major food products in 50 Chinese cities rose in late August, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed Tuesday, fueling concerns of a rise in inflation.

A total of 17 kinds of food prices rose during the period between August 21 and 30. For instance, pork prices rose by 1.2-1.3 percent from the previous 10 days, and egg prices rose by 5.5 percent, the NBS said in a statement on its website.

Analysts expressed concern about the rises, given that food prices account for a weighting of about one-third in China's consumer price index (CPI) calculations.

"The country's economy is recovering slowly, but food prices are rising faster than expected, fueling inflationary pressure," Liu Chunge, an analyst at Shandong-based commodity consultancy Sublime China Information, told the Global Times.

Liu expects the CPI will rebound to above 2 percent in August, from a 30-month low of 1.8 percent in July, limiting the central bank's room for maneuver with regard to a potential cut in the interest rate or banks' reserve requirement ratio.

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