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Barclays lower its forecast for China's CPI

By Hu Yuanyuan | | Updated: 2013-05-09 17:25

Investment bank Barclays lowered its China full-year consumer price index inflation forecast to 3 percent from 3.2 percent due to lower-than-expected food inflation and subdued non-food inflation, it said in a research note on Thursday.

China's CPI for April was 2.4 percent year-on-year, largely in line with consensus and up from 2.1 percent in March.

The central bank resumed the sale of 3 million central bank bills on Thursday, the first sale in 17 months. Similar to the resumption of repo transactions following the Chinese New Year holiday, this should be viewed more as usual open market operations for liquidity management, rather than the start of tightening, which is neither warranted by the macro environment nor desired by the authorities, according to the research note.

"We think the current accommodative monetary and financing conditions will be maintained. This is in view of the softer-than-expected domestic and global growth recovery," said Chang Jian, an economist with Barclays.

Moderate food inflation and falling global commodity prices have allowed the PBOC to be more flexible. But, in the meantime, the government needs to prevent a further rise in fiscal and financial risks and prevent asset bubbles.

"In our view, an interest rate cut, combined with a further increase in the ceiling on the interest rate banks can offer on deposits, cannot be ruled out," Chang added.

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