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China's inflation eases in April, another sign of a slowing economy

May 11, 2012|By David Pierson, Los Angeles Times

BEIJING — Inflation in China moderated last month in another sign that the world's second-largest economy is cooling.

Consumer prices grew 3.4% from a year earlier, China's National Bureau of Statistics said Friday. That's down from 3.6% year-over-year growth in March.

"We think the inflation outlook for this year is benign," analysts at IHS Global Insight in Beijing told clients in a research note Friday.

The data release comes a day after China reported surprisingly weak trade numbers for April. Chinese exports grew by 4.9% from a year earlier, down from 8.9% growth in March, because of continued weakness in Europe. Imports grew by only 0.3% from a year earlier, highlighting China's shrinking investment in real estate and public works.

The lackluster numbers suggest China's economy could still see further slowing, even though analysts had said growth had bottomed out in the first quarter, when the country's gross domestic product grew by 8.1%, the slowest pace of expansion in three years.

david.pierson@latimes.com

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