BEIJING (AFP) - Chinas central bank said Friday it would raise the amount of money that lenders must keep in reserve as officials step up efforts to contain rising inflation and soaring housing costs. The Peoples Bank of China said in a one-line statement on its website that the reserve ratio would be raised by 50 basis points, effective November 29. The hike is the fifth this year and the second this month, highlighting growing concerns among top leaders that rampant bank lending is fanning inflationary pressures in the worlds second-largest economy. The central bank said the measure was designed to strengthen liquidity management and moderately control money and credit supply. The latest move to rein in lending comes after the nations consumer price index rose 4.4 percent year-on-year in October, beyond the official full-year target of three percent and the fastest rate since September 2008. Chinas stability-obsessed leaders are worried that food and house prices are rising too fast and could lead to social instability. Beijing said Wednesday it may intervene to control spiralling inflation as it announced guidelines aimed at ensuring stable prices and supplies of key products such as vegetables, grain, coal and other energy sources. High inflation has a history of sparking unrest in China and the government has already taken a range of steps to put the brakes on rising prices, including hiking interest rates last month for the first time since 2007. The Peoples Bank of China is under pressure and it needs to do something to show its determination in taming inflation, Lu Ting, China economist at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch, said in a note. However, it has no intention to kill growth by aggressively hiking interest rates or impose lending squeeze. Hiking the reserve requirement ratio is the natural choice. A range of recent consumer surveys have shown that respondents are increasingly worried about rising food prices and plan to rein in spending on clothes and entertainment. Food price hikes are compounding the anguish of prospective home-buyers and renters who have watched real estate prices soar this year. The government has enacted a range of steps to curb property values but they are still climbing in major cities, albeit at a slower pace, since surging 12.8 percent in April and there has been speculation of another rate hike as early as this weekend. Analysts said the government would use a bundle of measures to combat inflationary pressures and not rely on interest rates to curb rising prices. The inflationary problem in China is a monetary one, too much money has been going into the economy at once over the past two years, said Erwin Sanft, head of China and Hong Kong research at BNP Paribas in Hong Kong. Interest rate hikes are part of the solution but not the key part, he said. Many economists expect the central bank to hike rates again before the end of the year.