China experiences record inflation

People shop for produce at an outdoor vegetable and fruit market in Beijing on November 18, 2010. Chinese consumer fears are rising along with prices after October inflation grew at the fastest pace in two years with the problem fuelled by soaring food costs after severe summer flooding and more recent cold snaps affecting crop yields. High inflation has a history of sparking unrest in China and the nation's stability-obsessed leaders have already taken a range of steps, including hiking interest rates last month for the first time since 2007.

TEXT OF STORY

JEREMY HOBSON: To China now where prices on consumer goods are rising so fast that even McDonald's says it's going to charge more for its food there. And a report out this morning from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development says inflation in China will continue for the foreseeable future.

The BBC's Chris Hogg reports from Shanghai.


CHRIS HOGG: China is a hungry consumer for the world's commodities and food, so if Beijing can slow inflation it could help both Chinese consumers -- and others around the world.

First, in China, the price of food is what most consumers care more about than anything else. Tom Orlik is China analyst for Stone & McCarthy Research Associates. He says the government can directly intervene in the food markets to directly control the prices of some specific products.

TIM ORLIK: They say to retailers, this month the price for a pound of pork is X and if we find you selling pork for a higher price than that we'll come and fine you.

However, U.S. and global consumers don't care about the cost of food in China, as much as they care about how much Chinese-made toys and clothes will cost on the store shelf. And with rising commodity prices, those products getting more expensive to make and sell.

In Shanghai, I'm the BBC's Chris Hogg for Marketplace.

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