BEIJING—China’s central bank said Friday it will raise banks’ reserve-requirement ratio by half a percentage point, following six such increases last year, in the government’s latest move to curb inflation.

Economists say official Chinese data due next week are likely to show the country’s fourth-quarter economic growth slowed and inflation fell in December. But officials remain concerned about inflation risks they say are fueled by loose monetary policies in other countries and a high level of global liquidity.

The ratio increase, which takes effect Jan. 20, comes after China’s consumer price index rose 5.1% in November from a year earlier, the fastest increase in over two years.

China’s gross domestic product likely grew 9.2% in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, slowing from the third quarter’s 9.6% expansion, according to the median forecast of 13 economists. China’s GDP likely grew 10.1% in 2010, up from 2009’s 9.2% rise, according to the survey.

China’s consumer price index likely rose 4.7% in December from a year earlier, down from November’s 5.1% rise, as prices of vegetables and other food items have moderated in recent weeks, according to the survey.

Source: Wall Street Journal

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