A leading bank forecast on Friday that China's consumer price index (CPI) would hit a new high in February, rising 8.3 percent year-on-year.
As a result of the worst winter weather in 50 years, food prices would rise 6 percent to 7 percent month-on-month in February and 22 percent to 23 percent year-on-year, according to a report issued here by the Global Financial Market Department of the Bank of China (BOC).
Food prices were pushing up the CPI, it said.
Making things worse, the BOC warned, when people expect prices to keep rising, they will spend more to avoid those future rises, which in turn will push prices up.
The CPI, the major inflation indicator, rose 7.1 percent in January, its fastest pace in more than 11 years, according to official figures.
(Xinhua News Agency March 9, 2008)