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China's April CPI to stay above 5 pct: survey

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SHANGHAI, May 9 (Xinhua) -- China's consumer price index (CPI), a main gauge of inflation, may stay at a high level and rise 5.15 percent year on year in April, according to a survey released Monday by Xinhua08, a financial trading system established by Xinhua News Agency.

The pace might be slower than March's 5.4 percent, a 32-month high, but still higher than the first quarter CPI growth of five percent, said the forecast, which was calculated according to estimations of research institutions and economists.

The survey estimated that the April producer price index (PPI), a main gauge of inflation at the wholesale level, would rise 7.2 percent from one year earlier, down from 7.3 percent in March.

Tang Jianwei, a senior economist with the Bank of Communications, said despite declines in food prices last month, rising non-food product prices and strong carryover effects will push the April CPI above five percent.

Responses from the Industrial Bank said food prices might drop by one percent in April from one month ago, but non-food prices would still climb month on month due to hikes in fuel prices and bank interest rates.

The CITIC Securities estimated that decreasing food prices would bring the April CPI slightly down by 0.2 percent month on month.

The National Bureau of Statistics is schedule to release major economic data for April on Wednesday.

The Chinese government has made curbing inflation its priority of this year's economic work and set the annual inflation control target at four percent for 2011.

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