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John Naronha

What are the highlights of China's consumer inflation numbers for May?


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Consumer inflation in China hit fresh 15-month highs in May, with the index surging to 2.7 per cent from 2.5 per cent the previous month. The data published by the National Bureau of Statistics was in line with analysts’ expectations polled by the Wall Street Journal and revealed that the rise in inflation was primarily led by food prices, caused by supply disruptions amid falling inventories.

Following are the key highlights of China’s May consumer inflation numbers-

  • On the month, the consumer price index rose 0.1 per cent in May, unchanged from April.
  • Year on year, food inflation jumped to 7.7 per cent from 6.1 per cent in April, the sharpest increase in almost 71/2 years.
  • Inflation excluding food items moderated to 1.6 per cent from 1.7 per cent in April.
  • While prices of fresh fruits spiked from an annual pace of 17.4 per cent in April to 26.7 per cent in May, prices of pork soared from 14.4 per cent to 18.2 per cent during the corresponding period, boosting the headline index by 0.86 percentage points.

Consumer prices have seen a steady upsurge in the last three months, from more than one-year lows in February, in spite of wholesale inflation moderating to 0.6 per cent in May from 0.9 per cent in April. While China’s import tariffs on food imports from the US, especially on pork could have contributed to the surge in consumer prices to some extent, the index, at least for now is below the Central Bank’s target of 3 per cent.

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