'Drop in CPI' tops New Year wishes

By Wu Jiao (China Daily)
Updated: 2008-01-07 06:54

A drop in headline-hogging inflation figures is the top of the New Year wish list for Chinese, a recent poll shows.

Of the 3,200 people who participated in an online poll to choose their wishes from 21 options, four in five chose "drop in consumer price index (CPI)" as their foremost.

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"You may not run faster than Liu Xiang, but your assets have to grow faster than CPI," said a netizen - quoting a slogan by newly-launched Moneyweek magazine - in the "Top New Year Wishes" poll conducted by the popular news portal QQ.com and China Youth Daily.

CPI - a key gauge of inflation - rose to an 11-year high of 6.9 percent in November last year, spurred mainly by increases in food prices.

Despite an 8 percent rise in per capita net income, the highest since 1997, two in three urbanites and nearly three in five rural residents surveyed by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences said price hikes were "the social issue of highest concern" last year.

Options given by the poll organizers included broad topics such as food safety and environment protection and hot stories like the launch of the Chang'e I lunar orbiter.

A successful Summer Olympics in Beijing followed the CPI drop as the second most commonly shared wish, with 60 percent choosing the option.

The sentiment was also shared by some people overseas.

In an online poll conducted by the China Daily website, a European netizen named "rockmyword" said: "I wish the best for (the Games) because I love Beijing. I love watching track, gymnastics and swimming events."

"Effective control of pollution and corruption" was also high on the list with two in five people voting for the two options.

Beating other broad issues such as better employment, wishes for higher stock earnings jumped into the top 10 wishes.

The ranking indicates a large number of Chinese have bought stocks during the bull market, said the poll organizer. The Shanghai stock market soared 97 percent last year after more than doubling in value the previous year.

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