China's inflation rate rose to 3.6% in March from 3.2% in February, driven by 7.5% increase in food costs

BEIJING , April 9, 2012 () – China's inflation edged up in March as the government shifted focus from containing politically dangerous price rises to stimulating its slowing economy.

The government said Monday that consumer prices rose 3.6 percent over a year earlier, up from February's 3.2 percent. That was driven by a 7.5 percent rise in food costs, up from the previous month's 6.2 percent.

Beijing shifted focus from cooling prices to shoring up economic growth after inflation eased from a high of 6.5 percent in July. Beijing has promised to ease lending curbs to help companies that have been battered by a slump in global demand.

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