China saw its last year's inflation rate rise 4.8 percent, the
highest level in more than a decade, which may force the government
to take further tightening measures.
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Thursday announced
the yearly figure of CPI (consumer price index), the main gauge of
inflation, picking out food prices, especially the pork price, as
the top propelling force.
Food prices ballooned 12.3 percent last year, driving up the CPI
figure by 4.0 percentage points, said Xie Fuzhan, director of the
NBS, at a press conference.
The average price of fowl and related products rose 31.7 percent
in 2007 and the egg price increased 21.8 percent, Xie said.
"The surging pork price has pushed the CPI figure above 4
percent since last June," he said.
"The pork price was underestimated in 2006, which resulted in
sharp declines of pigs, especially sows. The shortfall was further
aggravated by a pig cull following a serious outbreak of blue-ear
disease last year," he said while explaining the straight rise of
the pork price.
Soaring prices of primary products in the international markets
also affected domestic prices and contributed to the record-high
CPI figure since 1997.
The oil prices broke over 100 US dollars a barrel for the first
time at the beginning of this year, up from about 25 US dollars in
2003, and the edible oil prices nearly doubled last year in the
international markets, Xie said.
"It has set China's inflation rate hike against a worldwide
backdrop. India reported a CPI rise of 5.2 percent last year,
Russia 9.4 percent, and even the United States is expected to have
a 2.8 percent increase, and Europe an average rise above 2
percent," he said.
"Generally speaking, China is not alone. The new round of
inflation tension is a global trend," he said.
(Xinhua News Agency January 24, 2008)