Beijing, Mar 10 (efe-epa).- China’s consumer price index (CPI), the main indicator of inflation, declined by 0.2 percent year-on-year in February, according to official data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Wednesday.
The indicator maintained its downward trend after falling 0.3 percent in January but was below analysts’ forecasts.
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)
The only month out of the last four in which the indicator has grown, December, marked the smallest increase (0.2 percent) in more than 11 years (since October 2009), beating the growth the indicator recorded in October 2020.
Prices of pork – the most popular meat among Chinese consumers – fell again in February (-14.9 percent) despite posting a recovery after 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 and volatility in the meat’s prices.
Pork prices fell in October 2020 (-2.8 percent) for the first time after 19 months of increases and have been falling since. However, pork prices in 2020 increased by 49.7 percent from the previous year.
Another factor highlighted by the NBS in its report is the 28.2 percent decrease in airline ticket prices, mainly due to a wave of last minute cancellations amid a fear of coronavirus infections and travel restrictions prior to the Lunar New Year, China’s most important festival and holiday of the year, in February.
The statistics agency also released the producer price index (PPI), an indicator that measures and tracks wholesale inflation.
The PPI rose 1.7 percent year-on year in February, its highest growth since November 2018.
This growth comes on the heels of a 0.3 percent expansion in the indicator in January, which was its first increase in 12 months. EFE-EPA