China’s consumer, factory prices skid as demand falters
China’s consumer inflation hit an 18-month low and factory-gate price declines sped up in March as demand stayed persistently weak, shoring up the case for policymakers to take more steps to support the uneven economic recovery.
In contrast to surging prices globally, China’s retail and producer inflation has remained anaemic as the consumer and industrial sectors struggle to recover from their pandemic hit. Analysts now think consumer inflation could fall short of Beijing’s official targets this year.
The consumer price index (CPI) rose 0.7% year-on-year, the slowest pace since September 2021 and weaker than the 1.0% gain in February, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Tuesday. The result fell short of the 1.0% rise tipped in a Reuters poll.
“China’s March inflation report suggests that the Chinese economy is running a disinflation process, which points to bigger room for monetary policy easing to boost demand,” said Zhou Hao, economist at Guotai Junan International.
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