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Steel, energy price increase push domestically-made auto price up
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Chinese domestically manufactured vehicle prices edged up 0.15 percent in March month-on-month, according to the latest figures from the price supervision center, which is under the National Development and Reform Commission, the top economic planner.

The price supervision report based on the country's 36 big-and medium-sized cities showed that the domestically made vehicle prices in the first quarter rose 1.05 percent compared with the end of last year, boosted by the price rise of steel products and energy.

China's consumer price index (CPI), a key measure of inflation, was up 8.3 percent in March, following an 8.7 percent rise recorded for the previous month.

Prices of raw materials, fuels and power supply increased 9.8 percent in the first three months of this year, 5.7 percentage points higher than the level for the same period last year, said the National Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday.

Experts held that other factors including the rise of labor cost and the country's tight monetary policy which raised the thresholds of enterprises to get loans from banks also added to the cost rise pressure of domestic auto makers.

Domestically made vehicle prices increased 0.77 percent and 0.13 percent month-on-month respectively in January and February.

(Xinhua News Agency April 20, 2008)

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