Annual growth in China’s consumer price index fell to 3.4% in April, down from 3.6% in March and its lowest level since 2009, Bloomberg reported. The figure was broadly in line with expectations and well below the government’s official 4% annual target. Analysts say low inflation may give policymakers a more flexible hand to loosen monetary policy as the economy cools. GDP grew by 8.1% in the first quarter, the slowest pace in almost three years. “Moderating inflation will leave the window open for further policy easing in coming months,” said Shen Jianguang, an economist at Mizuho Securities, adding that officials could ease property restrictions and speed up infrastructure projects. However, a policy report released Thursday by the People’s Bank of China warned that “[a]lthough overall price gains are staying on a moderating trend, they are not yet stable.”
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