China is unlikely to raise interest rates in the first quarter of 2010, a senior government economist said in remarks published on Monday.

Xia Bin, head of the financial institute at the Development Research Center, a cabinet think tank, also said in the China Securities Journal that the country needed to do more to boost consumption in order to achieve 8-9 percent economic growth next year.

China affirmed at its annual economic work conference last week that it would stick to accommodative policies next year, but economists said Beijing would gradually fine-tune its loose monetary policy to keep inflation in check.

The consumer price index (CPI) in November rose 0.6 percent from a year earlier, the first annual increase after nine months of falls, driven by rising food prices.

(Reporting by Langi Chiang; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)