China inflation continues to surge

Consumer prices hit near 12-year-high in February, driven by soaring food costs.

    Chinese consumers face soaring prices
    for daily basics [GALLO/GETTY]

    The price of pork, a staple meat for millions of Chinese, soared 63.4 per cent.

     

    Officials have blamed the steep rises on China's worst winter weather in half a century, which hit food crops hard and cut supply routes.

     

    By contrast, non-food prices increased by a mere 1.6 per cent in February from a year earlier.

     

    Target

     

    In an unusual comment on its own data, the statistics bureau called for a calm reaction which followed a rise in the consumer price index of 7.1 per cent in January.

     

    "We must remain cool-headed, assess the situation correctly and adopt efficient measures in order to conscientiously keep the overall price level from rising too fast," it said.

     

    In an address to parliament last week, Wen Jiabao, the Chinese premier, said the government's inflation target for 2008 was 4.8 per cent.

     

    "The current price hikes and increasing inflationary pressures are the biggest concern of the people," Wen said.

     

    For China's communist rulers, inflation is of particular concern because it threatens to lead to social unrest and fuel anger at the government, as was the case in the lead-up to the 1989 Tiananmen democracy protests.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Double standards: 'Why aren't we all with Somalia?'

    Double standards: 'Why aren't we all with Somalia?'

    More than 300 people died in Somalia but some are asking why there was less news coverage and sympathy on social media.

    The life and death of Salman Rushdie, gentleman author

    The life and death of Salman Rushdie, gentleman author

    The man we call 'Salman Rushdie' today is not the brilliant author of the Satanic Verses, but a Picassoesque imposter.

    The Beirut Spy: Shula Cohen

    The Beirut Spy: Shula Cohen

    The story of Shula Cohen, aka The Pearl, who spied for the Israelis in Lebanon for 14 years.