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China's inflation rate eases to 2 pct in February

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March 8, 2014 10:25 PM EST | AP

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BEIJING (AP) — China's inflation rate eased in February to 2 percent year-on-year amid signs the world's second-largest economy might be cooling.

The consumer price rise reported Sunday by the National Bureau of Statistics was down from January's 2.5 percent. The rise in politically sensitive food costs decelerated to 2.7 percent from January's 3.7 percent.

Lower inflation could ease pressure on Chinese leaders as they try to focus on promised reforms aimed at making the economy more productive and keeping growth strong.

Producer prices, measured as goods leave the factory, declined by 2 percent from a year earlier. Producer price inflation has been negative for two years, reflecting excess production capacity in many industries that has led to price-cutting wars.