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China inflation at 8-month high of 3.2 percent

November 9, 2013

BEIJING (AP) — China’s inflation rose to an eight-month high in October as a surge in vegetable prices pushed up politically sensitive food costs.

Prices rose 3.2 percent, accelerating from September’s 3.1 percent, data showed Saturday. Food prices rose 6.5 percent, propelled by a 31.5 percent jump in the cost of fresh vegetables.

Inflation still is below the Communist Party’s 3.5 percent target for the year. But rising prices could make it harder to keep an economic recovery on track with interest rate cuts or higher government spending.

Inflation is politically volatile in China because it erodes economic gains that underpin the ruling party’s claim to power. Some poor families spend up to half their incomes on food.

China’s economic growth hit a two-decade low of 7.5 percent in the three months ending in June. It rebounded to 7.8 percent in the latest quarter but analysts say that strength is unlikely to last.

China’s exports rebounded to relatively strong growth in October, rising 5.6 percent over a year earlier. That came after September’s unexpected and rare decline of 0.3 percent.

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