China’s consumer inflation remains steady
BEIJING–China’s consumer inflation held steady at a near eight-year high in December, as food inflation eased but non-food inflation strengthened.
The consumer-price index rose 4.5% in December from a year earlier, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed Thursday. The key inflation reading was the same as November’s growth and slightly slower than a median forecast of a 4.6% increase by economists in a Wall Street Journal poll.
Food prices in December grew 17.4% from a year earlier, retreating from an over 11-year high of 19.1% in November. Pork prices rose 97% on year in December, after more than doubling in November as an outbreak of African swine fever continued driving pork prices higher. Pork prices alone lifted headline CPI by about 2.34 percentage points in December.
Non-food prices climbed 1.3% from a year earlier, picking up from a 1.0% increase in November.
On a month-to-month basis, CPI was unchanged from December. In November, the index edged up 0.4% from a month earlier. China pork prices dropped 5.6% in December from a month earlier. In November, pork prices climbed 3.8% on month.
For 2019, China’s consumer inflation rose 2.9% from a year earlier, inching closer to the government’s ceiling of about 3% for 2019. This increase was the highest since 2011, when the index rose 5.4%.
Meanwhile, China’s industrial price deflation continued to ease. The producer price index, a gauge of factory gate prices, edged down 0.5% on year in December, compared with a 1.4% decline in November and economists’ median forecast of a 0.3% drop for December.
On month, PPI was unchanged from a month earlier. In November, it edged down 0.1% from the preceding month.