News 401 views last update:Jun 13, 2007

Increasing pork prices lift inflation in China

Chinese inflation rose to its highest level in more than two years in May, mainly caused by heavily rising prices for pork and other food, government figures reveal.

The government is worried that the country's economy, growing at an 11% pace in 2007, could accelerate politically dangerous inflation. The official inflation target is 3%.

Pork prices
The leaders are especially concerned about soaring prices for pork. Pork prices have risen by more than 40% over the past year, partly by a pork shortage caused by the spread of PRRS.

Last month, the Chinese prime minister Wen Jiabao appeared on television to assure the public the government is tackling the pork problem.

Many farmers have stopped raising pigs for fear they might be stricken by the disease, authorities say.

Altogether, meat prices jumped 26.5%, while the cost of eggs was up 37.1%, the National Bureau of Statistics said.

The inflation figures revealed that consumer prices rose by 3.4% in May. That was the highest rate since prices rose 3.9 percent in February 2005.

Food prices moved up 8.3% from a year ago, up from April's 7.1%. This rise is sensitive because it would be felt most strongly in the poor countryside, where hundreds of millions of people have missed out on China's 20 year boom.

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