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Auto prices edge up on holiday demand
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Statistics from the price supervision center under the National Development and Reform Commission showed on Monday that domestic motor vehicles edged up 0.77 percent in January compared with December.

The price statistics were drawn from 36 cities.

Experts from the center cited two factors for higher prices: a shortage caused by weather-related transportation disruptions and a buying spree ahead of the Spring Festival, which began on February 7.

Prices of passenger vehicles in January went up 1.99 percent, with prices of sedans and sport utility vehicles (SUVs) up 5.37 percent and 2.14 percent, respectively.

The increase reversed the trend of the previous two months. Prices of domestic automobiles fell 0.89 percent and 0.30 percent month-on-month in December and November 2007, respectively.

China produced 8.88 million automobiles in 2007, up 22.02 percent from 2006.

Chinese auto sales are likely to hit or surpass 10 million in 2008, Cai Weici, vice-chairman of the China Machinery Industry Federation, forecast in January.

(Xinhua News Agency February 19, 2008)

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