PBOC survey: Inflation views falling

China.org.cn, December 23, 2011

PBOC survey: Inflation views falling 

 PBOC survey: Inflation views falling

Inflation expectations among urban depositors in China have fallen, a central bank quarterly survey found on Thursday.

According to the People's Bank of China's survey, urban depositors expecting future price hikes fell to 65.4 percent in the fourth quarter, down 9.4 percentage points from the third quarter and down 16.3 percentage points from a year earlier.

China's consumer price index rose 4.2 percent in November from a year earlier, down from October's 5.5 percent rise. Inflation peaked at 6.5 percent in July.

The number of Chinese people intending to buy homes has dropped to its lowest since 2008, with housing losing its appeal as the most preferred investment option for individuals, the survey showed .

A plurality of 72.9 percent of urban depositors feel the property prices are "too high and hard to accept," down 2.8 percentage points from the third quarter.

About 13.9 percent of respondents said they planned to buy a home in the next three months, down 0.3 percentage points than a quarter ago.

About 46.2 percent expect "basically no change" in property prices over the next six months, while 20.8 percent expect prices to fall and 19 percent expect prices to rise.

Excluding government-funded affordable housing, prices fell in 49 out of 70 cities in November, the National Bureau of Statistics said. That compared to 17 in September and 34 in October.

"The real estate industry has entered a chilly winter," China International Capital Corporation said in a report yesterday. "Home transactions and prices will continue to fall next year, and may reach the bottom in the third or fourth quarter."

Housing has been replaced by "funds and wealth management products" as Chinese people's favorite investment option for the first time since the question was added in the fourth quarter of last year, the bank said.