Expectations of consumer inflation in China fell in the first quarter of 2012 from the fourth quarter of last year, according to the central bank’s latest survey of 20,000 households, published on Tuesday. The index measuring inflation expectations was at 62.1 per cent, down 3.3 per centage points from the previous quarter and 10.7 per centage points from the first quarter of 2011, the survey showed. Among residents surveyed, 31.4 per cent of respondents expected consumer prices to climb further in the second quarter, down 5.4 per centage points from the survey in the previous quarter. Annual inflation cooled sharply to a 20-month low of 3.2 per cent in February, but Chinese policymakers remain particularly sensitive to elevated commodity prices, given China’s huge imports of raw materials. The survey showed housing inflation expectations fell, and also showed higher public acceptance of housing price rises. Among residents surveyed, 67.7 per cent of respondents believed housing prices were too high, down 5.2 per centage points from the previous quarter’s survey, it showed. The first-quarter survey also showed that 17.7 per cent of residents expected housing prices to rise, compared with 41.5 per cent in the survey conducted in the first quarter of 2011.