The chief economist for the Asian Development Bank, Ifzal Ali, said easing inflation in China means the country has leeway to implement "expansionary" fiscal and monetary policies for the rest of the year, Bloomberg reported. Speaking to reporters in Hong Kong yesterday, Ali noted that China was probably the only country in this situation, as other countries must tighten monetary policy in order to combat inflation. China’s consumer prices rose 4.9% last month, down from a 12-year high of 8.7% in February. Ali said Beijing has "clearly" shifted focus from inflation to growth. This week’s interest rate cut, the first reduction in six years, was seen as a move to shore up economic growth in the face of deteriorating global financial conditions.