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Inflation gauges rise slower than forecast

CHINA'S inflation grew at a slower pace than expected in January, reducing pressure on authorities to tighten policies designed to stimulate the economy.

The Consumer Price Index, the main gauge of prices, rose 1.5 percent last month from a year earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics said today. It was down from a gain of 1.9 percent in December and lower than a general expectation of a flat growth compared with December.

The Producer Price Index, the factory-gate measurement of inflation, advanced 4.3 percent year on year in January, picking up from an increase of 1.7 percent in December. But the growth of PPI still fell short of a general prediction of about 4.7 percent.

"The slower pace of price increases reflect that inflationary pressure is not so formidable as some people forecast," said Li Maoyu, an analyst at Changjiang Securities Co. "It provides a foundation for China to continue its relatively easy fiscal and monetary policies to secure a stable economic recovery."


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