The People's Bank of China, the mainland's central bank, is "closely monitoring' rising property and stock prices, the South China Morning Post reported. "We should let the market develop in its own way, but we need to analyse and keep an eye on property prices," central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan said. "The size of China's assets market is still quite small in comparison to the deposits and we will closely watch it." Academics have also warned of a property crash and have called for interest rate increases to stabilize prices. Central bank assistant governor Yi Gang has also said the bank is concerned by the rising consumer price index, which grew 2.8% last year, and that it was watching stock prices.