Shanghai, China, Apr 9 (efe-epa).- China’s consumer price index (CPI), the main indicator of inflation, rose 0.4 percent year-on-year in March, according to official data published by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Friday.
The indicator thereby reversed the downward trend of the first two months of 2021 and beat analysts’ forecasts, which predicted an increase of 0.3 percent.
The CPI’s increase in March was its highest since October last year, but the indicator remains low after experiencing its first contraction (-0.5 percent) since 2009 in November.
Consumer prices in China declined by 0.5 percent in March when compared to the previous month, which the NBS attributes to the drop in demand after the February celebration of the Lunar New Year, China’s most important festival and holiday of the year.
Prices of pork, the most popular meat in China, fell again in March (-18.4 percent year-on-year) 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.
The statistics agency also released the producer price index (PPI), an indicator that measures and tracks wholesale inflation, which grew 4.4 percent year-on-year.
This is the PPI’s highest growth since July 2018 and confirms the upward trend it has posted since January, when the first increase in the indicator in 12 months was registered. EFE-EPA