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China's June inflation edges up to 1.4 percent, leaving room for economic stimulus

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BEIJING — China's consumer inflation edged up to a still-low 1.4 percent in June, leaving room for Beijing to cut interest rates or take other steps to stimulate slowing economic growth.

Inflation rose from the previous month's 1.2 percent, driven by a 1.9 percent rise in food costs, government data showed Thursday.

Forecasters say the economy grew by 7 percent or slightly below that in the three months ending in June, in line with the previous quarter's six-year low of 7 percent.

Growth has cooled as the ruling Communist Party tries to steer the economy to a more self-sustaining expansion based on domestic consumption instead of trade and investment.

The slowdown has been sharper than expected, prompting concern about a rise in politically volatile job losses.

To shore up growth, Chinese leaders to cut interest rates four times since November and launched mini-stimulus measures using extra spending on building public works.

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