Monday, March 12, 2012

China says inflation, factory output slowing

BEIJING (AFP) -- China‘s inflation rate slowed sharply in February and factory output eased, data showed Friday, adding to evidence of a slowdown in the economy and giving Beijing more room to relax credit limits.

The figures from the National Bureau of Statistics come as the economy faces headwinds over Europe’s debt crisis and sluggish growth in the United States, which are hurting export-driven China.

The consumer price index rose 3.2 percent in February -- the lowest since June 2010 -- compared with 4.5 percent in January, when spending before the Chinese New Year holiday drove up retail prices, the government said.

Before January, inflation had eased for five straight months after hitting a more than three-year high of 6.5 percent in July and analysts had expected the downward trend to resume in February as the economy continued to slow.

Premier Wen Jiabao, speaking at the opening of the annual session of parliament on Monday, warned consumer prices remained high and the government‘s aim was to keep the inflation rate within 4.0 percent this year. Read More

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