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Financial News: China Inflation Steady At 4.5%; Producer Prices Fall

China Inflation Steady At 4.5%; Producer Prices Fall At Slower Pace

01/09/2020 - 02:58:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - China's consumer prices increased at a steady pace in December and producer prices continued to fall, but at a slower rate, official data revealed Thursday.

Consumer prices advanced 4.5 percent year-on-year in December, the same rate as seen in November, the National Bureau of Statistics said.

The 4.5 percent inflation was the highest since January 2012. The rate was forecast to rise to 4.7 percent in December.

Food prices surged 17.4 percent as the continued disruption to pork supply following the African swine fever outbreak pushed up pork price inflation to 97 percent. However, the increase in pork prices was slower than the 110.2 percent jump in November.

Meanwhile, non-food prices gained only 1.3 percent.

Excluding food and energy, core inflation remained at 1.4 percent in December.

Julian Evans-Pritchard and Martin Rasmussen, economists at Capital Economics, said pork prices should continue to trend down in the coming quarters.

Even if food prices remain unchanged, and non-food inflation was constant, headline inflation would drop back to 2 percent year-on-year by September, the economists noted.

The big picture is that demand-side pressures remain subdued, leaving ample space for policymakers to ease monetary policy, they said.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices remained flat after rising 0.4 percent in November.

Another report from the NBS showed that producer prices declined for the sixth straight month. Producer prices fell 0.5 percent annually slower than the 1.4 percent decrease seen a month ago. Economists had forecast an annual drop of 0.4 percent.

Month-on-month, producer prices remained flat, following a 0.1 percent drop in November, data showed.

For the whole year of 2019, inflation came in at 2.9 percent, which was close to the government's target of 3 percent, while producer prices fell 0.3 percent.

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