China Inflation Modest — Except the Cost of Food


Inflation problems continue to plague China, in large part because of the cost of food. That means one essential cut into discretionary income. And, in turn, the chances that China's growth can be driven by its new middle class lessens somewhat. Otherwise, Chinese price increases have remained moderate, perhaps because a worldwide recession has undercut demand for its factory goods.

The Xinhua news agency reports on China's inflation in April:

China's consumer inflation slightly accelerated in April, but still within a mild range that leaves room for policymakers to fine-tune policies to support the tepid economic recovery, official data showed Thursday.

China's consumer price index (CPI), a main gauge of inflation, grew 2.4 percent year on year in April, up from 2.1 percent in March but well below the year's control target of 3.5 percent, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

The rise is largely in line with the market forecast of around 2.3 percent.

The NBS attributed the gain mainly to an unusual increase in vegetable prices during that month as low temperatures and scarce rainfalls disrupted supplies.

In April, food prices, which account for nearly one-third of weighting in China's CPI, increased 4 percent year on year, with the prices of vegetables rising 5.9 percent, NBS data showed.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices in April edged up 0.2 percent.

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, China, Commodities, Food