Business & Economy

China’s inflation levels out at 2.4 pct in May

Beijing, June 10 (efe-epa).- China’s Consumer Price Index (CPI), the main inflation indicator, grew 2.4 percent year-on-year in May against the 3.3 percent growth it posted in the previous month, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Wednesday.

The figure is below analysts’ forecasts, which had predicted an increase in inflation of around 2.7 percent in the month of May.

This is the lowest data since March 2019 (inflation reached 5.4 percent in January) and comes amid government control to contain the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus pandemic and economic stimulus measures to revive the economy after the halt caused by the virus.

NBS statistician Dong Lijuan attributed this moderation mainly to the fact that the situation of the epidemic at the national level was generally stable, production and business were restarted, while market supply and demand continued to improve.

The agency’s data shows that, as in previous months, the main driver behind the inter-annual increase in the CPI was rising food prices that increased 10.6 percent in May as compared to 14.8 percent in April.

The price of pork, one of the most sought-after products by Chinese consumers, continued to rise and increased by 81.7 percent year-on-year last month (it rose 96.9 percent year-on-year in April and 116.4 percent in March) as its production has been affected since mid-2018 by an outbreak of African swine fever that has decimated the pig population in the Asian country.

In contrast, prices of vegetables fell by 8.5 percent, while those of fresh fruit dropped by 19.3 percent and those of eggs declined by 12.3 percent.

The NBS said that prices of non-food items increased by 0.4 percent – the same as in the previous month – while those of consumer goods increased by 3.3 percent and of services by 1 percent.

The cost of health care rose 2.1 percent year-on-year in May while that of education, culture and entertainment increased by 2.2 percent.

However, prices in the transport and communications sector fell by 5.1 percent, while prices of clothing and homes decreased by 0.4 percent and 0.3 percent respectively.

The NBS also announced that the Production Price Index, which measures wholesale inflation, decreased by 3.7 percent year-on-year in May after falling by 3.1 percent in April and 1.5 percent in March. EFE


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