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Data should show China's continued recovery

CHINA'S key economic data for February, due to be released on Thursday, will continue to show the improvement of China's overall economy, analysts said.

But the indices for inflation may grow faster after food prices increased significantly in the Spring Festival holiday, while the country's policy stance remains uncertain in many aspects.

"China's economy is on the right track for recovery, and the February data will continue to demonstrate the improvement in exports and retail sales," said Li Maoyu, an analyst at the Changjiang Securities Co.

China's exports have staged a strong comeback since December when the country's overseas shipments increased 17.7 percent from a year earlier and ended a 13-month losing streak.

Li expected the exports in February will rise at least 20 percent, keeping the pace in line with a 21-percent jump in January.

The heavy consumption during the Spring Festival holiday will further boost the retail sales in February, Li said, and the growth is predicted to be between 15 percent and 20 percent.

Li Huiyong, an analyst at the Shenyin & Wanguo Securities Co, said the investment and consumption will remain major driving forces of the economy, and it may take time for the exports to return to the pre-crisis level. A stable investment growth of around 30 percent will be seen in the February dataset.

However, both analysts forecast a further advance of consumer prices and producer prices in February, which may feed inflationary expectations.

They said the consumer prices may grow to above 2 percent, even 2.4 percent, up from the increase of 1.5 percent in January. The producer prices may climb 5 percent last month from the rise of 4.3 percent in January.

The steep advance of food prices during the Spring Festival holiday, which may gain more than 6 percent on an annual basis, is the main driver of the hike in consumer prices, analysts said.


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