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China November inflation declines

December 9, 2013

BEIJING (AP) — China’s inflation edged down in November, giving Beijing more room to ease monetary policy and stimulate the economy if needed.

Consumer prices rose 3 percent, down from October’s 3.2 percent, data showed Monday. Price increases were driven by a 22.3 percent rise in the cost of fresh vegetables and a 5.9 percent gain for food prices overall.

Lower inflation could give Beijing “some wriggle room on easing” monetary policy, said Kim Eng Securities in a note to clients.

Economic growth rebounded to 7.8 percent in the three months ending in September from a two-decade low. But some analysts say the recovery, driven by a mini-stimulus of spending on building railways and other public works, might fade late this year or early in 2014, raising new concern about politically volatile job losses.

Also in November, producer prices — measured as goods leave the factory — extended a steady decline, falling 1.4 percent from a year earlier.

The International Monetary Fund in October trimmed its 2013 growth outlook for China from 8 percent to a still-healthy 7.6 percent and reduced next year’s forecast by a full percentage point to 7.3 percent.

Chinese leaders are trying to guide the economy to more sustainable growth based on domestic consumption instead of exports and investment. An unexpectedly sharp growth decline raised the risk of job losses and prompted them to reverse course this year to prop up growth.

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