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China Sees Inflation Spike; Prods 'Relevant Nations' To Tighten Deficits

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China Sees Inflation Spike; Prods 'Relevant Nations' To Tighten Deficits

China said its politically sensitive inflation rate hit a 37-month high of 6.5 percent in July. Food costs, rose by 14.8 percent from a year ago, according to reports. Above, people shop for produce at a Beijing market Tuesday.

Peter Parks

As the world’s financial markets struggle to cope with fears of a U.S. recession and a spreading European debt crisis, China on Tuesday called for more cooperation to stabilize markets and encourage growth.

Adding its seal of approval to a joint statement from finance ministers and central bank governors of the Group of 20 nations issued Monday, China’s top officials urged “relevant nations” to cut their deficits and get debt problems under control.

That was the message coming from a meeting of the State Council, chaired by Premier Wen Jiabao Tuesday.

The statement urged the leaders of the world’s largest economies to act to restore investors’ confidence. And as the AP reminds us, “China is the world’s second-largest economy and is the largest foreign holder of U.S. Treasurys.”

China has suffered its own economic ills during the global crisis, particularly as the value of the U.S. dollar has vacillated. Inflation, a near-constant worry for the burgeoning nation, has become even more of a concern, with the latest numbers, for July, showing a 37-month high of 6.5 percent.

The official Xinhua agency has posted a story stating, “The stubbornly high inflation rate has been driven by increasing food costs, which rose by 14.8 percent in July from a year ago. The price of pork, a staple food in China, soared by nearly 57 percent in July.”

But the story then goes in a direction that might bring an air of cognitive dissonance to anyone who’s been following the recent anemic growth of America’s economy: “The world’s second-largest economy has shown signs of cooling down, with GDP decelerating to 9.5 percent in the second quarter from 9.6 percent in the first three months.”

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