Economist: CPI to rise less than 4% in 2007

By Shangguan Zhoudong (
Updated: 2007-08-06 14:49

Soaring food prices will be effectively curbed and the consumer price index (CPI) for 2007 will rise less than 4 percent, said Yao Jingyuan, chief economist of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the Beijing News reported today.

Statistics from the NBS show that, in the first half of this year, foodstuff prices rose 7.6 percent, with grain prices up 6.4 percent, egg prices up 27.9 percent and prices for meat, fowl, and related products up 20.7 percent.

According to Li Xiaochao, spokesman with the NBS, rising grain prices were largely due to the rising grain prices on international markets and growing demand both at home and abroad.

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GDP grows 11.5% in 1st half

The Ministry of Commerce predicted that growth in foodstuff prices would slow down in the second half of this year.

Yao said the food price rise was due to structural problems. Currently, the supply of food exceeds demand in the whole, and some products are even produced excessively.

Only the supply of pork is "slightly tight" while other food products have no supply problems.

Lu Zhongyuan, an economist with the Macroeconomic Research Institute of the Development Research Center of the State Council, said that China's grain production recorded its fourth consecutive harvest this year, slowing growth in food prices.

Lu said China's inflation is also growing at a slower pace.

The CPI rose 4.4 percent in June, and CPI for the first half increased 3.2 percent year on year.

Meanwhile, the country's economy expanded 11.5 percent in the first half of this year, up 0.5 percentage points from a year earlier, according to the NBS.

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