China concerned at 6.5-pct inflation; GDP growth 11.5-pct

BEIJING, Nov 13, 2007 (AFP) – China’s consumer price index, the main gauge of inflation, rose 6.5 percent in October year-on-year, the government said Tuesday, as Premier Wen Jiabao promised to stabilise prices. The figure was up from 6.2 percent in September, and the same as the 6.5 percent in August, then the highest level in more than a decade, the National Bureau of Statistics said.

China’s economy grew by 11.5 percent in the third quarter and seems all but certain to record its fourth consecutive year of double-digit growth in 2007.

The release of the data came as state media quoted Wen as vowing steps to ensure adequate supplies and stable prices of basic consumer commodities amid soaring inflation.

“Prices have been on the rise these days and I’m aware that even a one-yuan (13-cent) increase in prices will affect people’s lives,” Xinhua news agency quoted him as saying.

The spike in inflation last month was overwhelmingly led by a rise in food prices, which were up 17.6 percent in October from a year earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics said.

By contrast, the prices of non-food items saw an increase of a modest 1.1 percent, it said.

Analysts say the high rate of inflat