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May 11, 2017

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Home » Business » Economy

CPI speeds to highest in 3 months

CHINA’S consumer inflation accelerated in April to the fastest in three months while factory-gate inflation cooled month on month for the first time since July, official data showed yesterday.

The Consumer Price Index, a main gauge of inflation, rose 1.2 percent year on year in April, 0.3 percentage points higher than March, the National Bureau of Statistics said.

The reading, however, was generally in line with market forecast of 1.1 percent.

Meanwhile, the Producer Price Index, which measures costs for goods at the factory gate, dipped 0.4 percent from a month earlier.

On a year-on-year basis, PPI rose 6.4 percent, slower than March’s 7.6 percent and February’s 7.8 percent, which was a eight-year record.

The market expectations were a 6.9 percent hike.

Sheng Guoqing, a bureau analyst, said consumer inflation rose mainly due to price increases in the non-food sector, while the PPI cooled amid lower prices in oil and ferrous metal-related products.

Non-food prices rose 2.4 percent year on year, 0.1 percentage points faster than March, led by higher prices for flight tickets, hotels and tourist fees amid the Qingming and Labor Day holidays.

Reform to regional medical service fees also lifted prices of medicine and health care, Sheng said.

Food prices, meanwhile, fell 3.5 percent, and the decline was 0.9 percentage points narrower than March’s.

Sheng said the decline in PPI increase widened in major industries in April, with factory-gate prices in the oil and gas extraction industry down 4.2 percent from a month earlier.

Economists said PPI will continue to moderate in the coming months but deflation is unlikely due to brighter external demand outlook and continued capacity adjustment.

“We expect it to only moderate into low inflationary territory on waning base effect, rather than deep deflationary as we saw between 2012 and the first half of last year,” Morgan Stanley said in a note.


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