Shanghai, China, Apr 11 (EFE).- Inflation in China in March dropped to levels not seen since September 2021, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) reported Tuesday.
China’s consumer price index (CPI), a leading measure of inflation, rose 0.7 percent in March, year-on-year, making it the first time consumer inflation fell below 1% in over a year.
The produce price index (PPI) index in China fell 2.5% year-on-year in March, its lowest level in 33 months, according to the NBS report.
The sluggish performance suggests the country is still struggling to recover from the damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic and the extended lockdowns that affected much of China’s economic output.
Most analysts had predicted that March’s CPI would echo that of February at 1% but consumer inflation shaved off a further 0.3% as prices continued to sink across the country.
The price of vegetables and pork fell by 7.2% and 4.2% month on month, respectively, the NBS report added.
The country’s core CPI, which does not include food and energy prices, climbed 0.7% from a year ago last month, up from 0.6% in February, Dong was quoted as saying by state-backed news agency Xinhua.
“We think consumer price inflation will rebound in the coming months as the labor market tightens again and will peak at 2.3% in early 2024,” Zichun Huang, China economist at Capital Economics, said.
“But it will be well below the government’s ceiling of ‘around 3.0%’, and the increase in inflation will be far smaller than what was seen elsewhere when they opened up,” Zichun added.
The decrease in PPI, meanwhile, was 1.1 points more pronounced than that registered the previous month, but this time it was in line with what analysts had projected.
“Due to a quicker recovery in domestic economic activities and price changes of some commodities in the international market, the PPI remained flat month on month,” Dong Lijuan, a senior analyst at NBS was quoted as saying by the Xinhua state-backed news agency.
“But owing to a high comparison base in the same period last year, the year-on-year PPI declined,” Dong added. EFE