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For many people in China, headline inflation of 2% is just a cruel joke

Living costs are surging in larger cities, especially when housing is included, but stable in small towns

Once soaring housing markets in metropolises such as Beijing and Shanghai are factored in, it's easier to understand why the central bank has switched to tightening mode even though the economy is slowing.


PROJECT manager Yuan Fang says that she's cutting spending and working overtime after a 20 per cent surge in the cost of both her Beijing room rent and her favourite Japanese lunch boxes. Civil servant Neo Zhu, who bought an apartment in the eastern city of Hangzhou 10 years ago, ...

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