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China's consumer price control still priority

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BEIJING, March 18 (Xinhua) -- A senior Chinese government official said Sunday China will continue to stabilize consumer prices this year and puts the matter at an important position despite the recent signs of inflation easing.

Zhang Ping, minister in charge of the National Development and Reform Commission, the country's top economic planner, said the government will not relax its efforts in managing inflation, even though it currently shows a stabilizing trend.

Government data showed the consumer price index (CPI), the main gauge of inflation, rose 3.2 percent year-on-year in February, marking the lowest pace in 20 months. It eased from the 4.5-percent rise registered in January.

"Currently the situation is still severe, as higher international commodity prices, tight supplies of some farm produces at home, and abundant global liquidity can all drive up inflation," Zhang said at the China Development Forum 2012 held in Beijing.

The Chinese government aims to keep the CPI increase to around 4 percent for 2012. The index climbed 5.4 percent last year.

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