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BEIJING - China's consumer confidence increased slightly in March even though inflation rose last month from February.
The Bankcard Consumer Confidence Index (BCCI), jointly compiled and released by Xinhua News Agency and China UnionPay, stood at 86.77 in March, up 0.08 percentage point from February. The March figure was released Monday.
A higher reading of the index shows improvement in residents' confidence to consume. The index is based on bank card transaction data and analysis of structural changes in urban consumption. The index was first released in April 2009. It stood at 86.95 for the first quarter of 2009.
The National Bureau of Statistics said China's consumer price index (CPI), the main gauge of inflation, rose 3.6 percent year-on-year in March, up from a 3.2-percent rise registered in the previous month.
The BCCI report said that despite the rebound, inflation was still running at a relatively low level, and that price fluctuations of some seasonal products were having a limited impact on consumer confidence.
The report said consumer confidence was further boosted by discount activities in shopping malls and department stores for Women's Day in March, and more willingness of consumers to spend in spring.