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China's Inflation Rate Edges Up To 1.9% In January

China's consumer price index rose 1.9% year-on-year in January, edging up as travel costs increased ahead of the Lunar New Year, official data showed Feb. 22, but analysts expect inflation to remain subdued.

Month-on-month, January inflation rose 1.3% from December and compared with a 1.8% increase for all of 2005, the National Bureau of Statistics said. The January rise of 1.9% was slightly higher than the 1.6% inflation rate recorded in December.

Urban transport costs rose 7.5% for the period, while auto fuel and parts jumped 11.1%. Prices of telecommunication products slid 17.8%.

Analysts, however, have expressed concerns that problems of overcapacity could pose a risk of deflation despite the fact that China's economy continues to race ahead with growth rates of nearly 10%. Signs that inflation remains tame were also reflected in January factory gate prices, which rose 3.1% in January, down from a rise of 3.2% in December, according to official figures released on Tuesday.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006

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