Money Matters - Simplified

annual basis

Food prices in China up 11.7 percent

Beijing -- China said Saturday its consumer price index rose 5.1 percent on an annual basis in November with food prices climbing 11.7 percent.

Core prices, which exclude food, rose 1.9 percent from November to November, reported.

On Friday, the People's Bank of China raised its reserve requirement for banks 0.5 percent after customs officials said exports had increased 35 percent over the past 12 months and imports were up 38 percent.

Analysts expect the bank will take further steps to slow the economy and curb the inflationary trend. Last week, China said it would aim for a more "prudent" monetary policy next for 2011.

In contrast, the annual CPI is about 1.2 percent in the United States.

Prices in Canada up 2.4 percent

Ottawa -- Consumer prices rose 2.4 percent on an annual basis in Canada in October, Statistics Canada reported Tuesday.

The increase in the cost of living followed a 1.9 rise in September and a 1.7 percent increase in August, the agency said.

Energy prices were behind much of the increase. Gasoline prices were 8.8 percent higher than the same month a year ago after a 3.1 percent rise in September.

Excluding gasoline, consumer prices rose 2.1 percent from a year ago. In September, excluding gasoline, prices rose 1.8 percent.

U.S. home prices slack in August

New York -- U.S. home prices rose less than expected on an annual basis in August, a closely-watched index released Tuesday said.

The S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city composite index of home prices for August rose 1.7 percent from a year ago, falling short of the 2.2 percent increase economists had predicted.

In a separate report, the Federal Housing Finance Agency said home prices rose 0.4 percent in July to August, using an index that tracks only prices on mortgages backed by the Federal National Mortgage Association or the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp., better known as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.