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Food Nudges Up Consumer Index
Chinese consumer prices rose slightly in February, a report from the National Bureau of Statistics said yesterday.

The consumer price index for February was 101.6, up 0.1 percent from January.

According to the report, 0.6 percent rise in food led to the price index rise in February.

Food takes up a large percentage of consumer spending in China.

"Food prices dropped in February after Spring Festival, but kept rising later,'' the report said.

The report attributed the growth to the State Council's ban on electronic consumption cards this month.

Companies as gifts often present the cards, containing credit.

People with the cards rushed to shop at the end of February before the cards were banned.

More provinces in the western region saw prices climb.

Among them, prices in Gansu and Sichuan provinces surged 1.9 and 1.2 percent.

Recreation, education and service prices rose 0.8 percent in China in February.

Education and textbook prices rose 2 and 2.3 percent in February when schools started the new semester.

However, train and plane fares declined 0.7 and 0.1 percent because of the end of Spring Festival transportation peak.

(China Daily 03/14/2001)

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