BEIJING, Mar. 28 -- China's consumer prices are expected to rise about 4.9 percent in the first half of this year, and inflation is expected to ease in the second half, China's top economic planner said in a report published by China Securities Journal on Friday.
The report, issued by the price monitoring center under the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), estimated that China's consumer price index (CPI), a main gauge of inflation, would rise about 5 percent from the previous year in March.
"At present, China's aggregate demand and supply are basically balanced, so prices will not rise to a larger extent than before," the report said.
In the first half of the year, the CPI increase would be somewhere between 4.8 percent to 5 percent, but inflationary pressure in the second quarter would not further expand, according to the report.
China would face less inflationary pressure in the second half of the year and overall price levels were likely to drop.
Government data showed that February's CPI stayed on par with January's at 4.9 percent, higher than the 4 percent inflation target for the whole year.
China's central bank has raised the bank reserve requirement ratio nine times and hiked interest rates three times since the beginning of 2010 to soak up liquidity and to check inflation.
During the annual session of this year's National People's Congress, the government made it clear that it would control inflation through liquidity management, production increases and intensified crackdowns on price speculation and hoarders.