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Price collector gives us food for thought

(China Daily)

14:01, November 09, 2011

How much for those? And these? The prices Chen Li collects at a Sichuan market, and those reported by her counterparts nationwide, will contribute to the calculation of China's consumer price index. [Photo / China Daily]

Chen Li arrived at the market at 9 in the morning, the designated hour, to inquire about food prices. Pork, on that particular day, Oct 20, was 29 yuan ($4.56) a kilogram, butcher Sun Xun told Chen. It was the same price recorded in Chen's tally book on Oct 15, which, in turn, was 1 yuan lower than on Oct 10.

Chen, 45, works in the consumer price office, in Mianyang, Sichuan province, for the National Bureau of Statistics.

The prices she monitors are the statistics the bureau uses to calculate the monthly consumer price index (CPI), a main gauge of inflation. Once this is calculated the information is flashed around the world to be digested by the financial markets.

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