China's consumer price index (CPI), pushed by rising food prices, rose by 3.8%, the fastest rate in seven years, according to data released by Mainland Marketing Research Co, which distributes data on behalf of the National Bureau of Statistics. The growth of the CPI, a measure of the prices of goods and services, was the fastest since March 1997. The central government's average inflation target is 3%. Central bank People's Bank of China said that it expects inflation to accelerate before anti-inflationary measures by the government take effect in the third quarter of 2004.
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