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Chinese consumer mood rallies
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China's consumer confidence rebounded in July as inflationary pressure eased, the National Bureau of Statistics said yesterday.

The Consumer Confidence Index settled at 94.5 last month, up from 94.1 in June and 94.3 in May. The index hit 94 in April, the lowest since at least June last year.

Meanwhile, the index of consumer future hopes also grew to 96.9 in July from 96.5 a month earlier, said a statement on the bureau's Website. It did not elaborate on the number of respondents.

"The government's efforts to tame inflation have paid off in recent months as consumer prices have begun to slow," said Li Maoyu, an analyst with Changjiang Securities Co. "What's more important, people have become less worried about inflation getting worse, which paves the way for the government to fine-tune macroeconomic policies."

The Consumer Price Index, the main gauge of inflation, slowed to 6.3 percent last month from 7.1 percent in June and 7.7 percent in May, due to stable food supply and limited price increases in some daily necessities.

Economists in general agreed the CPI reached a peak of 8.7 percent in February and that was the turning point for the index to head south. With less inflationary pressure, the government now has more room to fine-tune its macroeconomic policies.

China's gross domestic product has eased to 10.1 percent in the second quarter this year from 10.6 percent in the first three months and 11.9 percent last year.

(Shanghai Daily August 27, 2008)

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