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Inflation control target difficult to achieve this year: official

(Xinhua)

13:43, August 26, 2011

BEIJING, Aug. 25 (Xinhua) -- A senior Chinese official said on Thursday that stabilizing the general price level remains the government's top priority, calling for all macro control policies in force to be fully implemented as it will be difficult to fulfill the government's inflation control target.

The remarks by Zhang Ping, the head of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), China's top economic planner, came at a bi-monthly legislative session of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature.

Zhang said that since the beginning of this year, China has taken a series of measures to cool rising prices. These measures included introducing a prudent monetary policy, boosting supply and containing irrational demand while establishing a price control mechanism.

"The efforts we made to cool prices are gradually taking effect," Zhang told the NPC Standing Committee.

"But it could be difficult to keep the consumer price index (CPI) growth below the government's target this year," he said.

The Chinese government set the annual inflation rate control target at around 4 percent for the year.

The CPI, a main gauge of inflation, rose 5.5 percent in the first seven months of this year. In July, the index jumped to a 37-month high of 6.5 percent, well above the government's target ceiling.

Zhang expects the country's price level to remain high due to the pressures of global liquidity, imported inflation, a rise in domestic production costs, temporary shortages of some kinds of agricultural products and natural disasters.

He added that the pressures and risks China faces could lift inflationary expectations, and make meeting the price control target difficult.

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