Chinese high inflation rates are expected to continue until the second or third quarter despite the government’s efforts to tame rising prices, according to a survey of 56 leading economists.

A survey of 56 leading economists showed that 21 percent of them expect the high inflation rate to last until the third quarter of 2011 while 58 percent said that inflation to ease by second quarter.

The survey conducted by the Economic Observer also showed that inflation rate will remain high in the first quarter this year.

Inflation, which touched a 28-month high at 5.1 percent in November, has been identified as China's biggest hurdle to growth in 2011. The government has been increasing interest rates as well as reserve ratios in an attempt to contain the rise.

Inflation is estimated to peak to 6.3 percent in June this year before easing to 4 percent in October, according to economists from China Jianyin Investment Securities.

Nearly 33 percent of the economists said rising international commodity prices and a jump in food prices will drive the inflation up. Food prices rose 11.7 percent in November year-on-year.

Besides, 28 percent of the economists surveyed said excessive liquidity in the market was the major reason for inflation in China.