Inflation tops target in China

March 11, 2011 at 3:13 PM

BEIJING, March 11 (UPI) -- China said Friday inflation on consumer goods continued to run above its target level of 4 percent in February.

The consumer price index rose 4.9 percent in February, consistent with January, while wholesale prices rose 7.2 percent, The New York Times reported Friday.

To reduce price overload, the People's Bank of China has instigated a series of steps to slow lending. Of special concern are prices for food and housing. In February, food prices surged 11 percent on an annual basis.

China has also set a goal of 7 percent economic growth for 2011, which would pull it down from a potentially overheating level of 10.3 percent, which was the economy's growth rate in 2010.

Morgan Stanley economist Wang Qing told the Times inflation likely has "not peaked yet" and was predicted to finish the year at 4.5 percent.

"We think inflation will rebound in April or May and peak midyear," Wang said.

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