BEIJING -- Inflation in China grew at its slowest pace in nearly 2 1/2 years in June, likely paving the way for more monetary loosening as the world's second-largest economy tries to avert a sharp slowdown in growth.
Consumer prices edged up 2.2% from a year ago, slower than May's year-on-year increase of 3.0%, China's National Bureau of Statistics said Monday.
The falling prices should give China confidence to increase bank lending and stimulate an economy facing its weakest growth in three years. China's central bank lowered benchmark interest rates last week for the second time in less than a month.
"Inflation is falling fast and is likely to remain tamed for the rest of this year. This leaves sufficient room for policy easing and Beijing's top leaders confirmed their willingness to do so," said Qu Hongbin, an economist for HSBC.