Rising Food Prices Test Chinese Consumers – Peter Ford

OCOOKOIL_P1.jpg From Christian Science Monitor:

Mrs. Wang stood by the shelves of cooking oil in one of Beijing’s biggest supermarkets, inspecting the price stickers carefully. A retired factory worker on a modest pension, Wang, who gave only one name, used to be able to buy her favorite brand of oil, a key ingredient in Chinese cuisine. “Today I buy whichever brand is cheap,” she says. “We are feeling the pinch of rising food prices. We don’t live as well as before.”

Food prices, 17.6 percent higher than a year ago, have pushed China’s consumer price index up faster than it has risen for a decade, official figures released this week showed. And Wang’s woes matter to more people than just her family. In a country where growing prosperity is the government’s central promise to its people, the authorities cannot afford to let inflation get out of control for fear of social discontent. [Full Text]

[Image: Shoppers in Beijing on Tuesday found higher prices than usual, by Greg Baker from AP. ]

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