Business & Economy

China’s CPI rebounds in December to post 2.5 pct 2020 growth

Shanghai, Jan 11 (efe-epa).- China’s consumer price index (CPI), the main indicator of inflation, expanded 2.5 percent in 2020, according to official data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) Monday.

The figures show a marginal rebound in December, when prices were 0.2 percent more than in the same month of 2019 due to a historic cold wave affecting much of the country since the last few weeks.

Prices in China have continued to remain low for more than a decade.

In November, consumer prices experienced their first year-on-year decline since October 2009 (-0.5 percent) and the December figure represents the smallest increase in the same period of more than 11 years, beating the growth recorded by the indicator in October 2020 (+0.5 percent).

There was a downward trend between July and November of last year due to a recovery of the prices of pork, the most popular meat among Chinese consumers.

Pork prices have suffered tremendous volatility due to the African swine flu epidemic, which since mid-2018 has wiped out tens of millions of the animals in China and raised serious problems in production.

Pork prices fell in October 2020 (-2.8 percent) for the first time after 19 months of increases.

They declined further in November (-12.5 percent) but moderated substantially in the last month of 2020, when they posted a year-on-year decrease of 1.3 percent

Pork prices in 2020 increased by 49.7 percent from the previous year.

In the comparison between November and December, NBS statistician, Dong Lijuan, stresses the increase in the prices of production, storage and transportation of fruit and vegetables – both of which were 6.5 percent more expensive than in the last month of 2019 – on account of “continued low temperatures.”

The statistics agency also released the producer price index (PPI), an indicator that measures and tracks wholesale inflation.

The PPI posted a year-on year decline of 1.8 percent in 2020 after contracting 0.4 percent in December.

This is the second best figure of the indicator in 2020 after January, when wholesale prices did not record any year-on-year change.

Moreover, the PPI grew by 1.1 percent between November and December, the best month-on-month improvement during 2020. EFE-EPA

vec/pd/tw

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