China's food prices are expected to see mild growth before the Spring Festival as surging demand ahead of the holiday will boost consumption, the top economic planner said on Monday.
The Chinese New Year, or Spring Festival, is China's most important family holiday, with hundreds of millions of people heading for their hometowns to reunite with relatives and old friends. It falls on Jan. 28 this year. Thanks to high temperatures throughout most of the country, good transportation conditions and abundant supply, the rise of food prices will only be mild, said a report from the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).
The report said markets should reserve goods well in advance to stabilize food prices in case extreme weather occurs during the holiday.
Food prices, accounting for one-third of the the consumer price index (CPI) calculation, are a major driver pushing up consumer prices.
Data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed that CPI in December increased 2.1 percent from a year ago, slightly down from November's 2.3-percent rise. For the whole of 2016, the CPI rose 2 percent, well below the government's 3-percent annual target.
The country's consumer price growth stood at 1.4 percent in 2015 and 2 percent in 2014, NBS data showed.