Chinese inflation hits 8-year high as pork prices double

Chinese inflation hits 8-year high as pork prices double”

China's consumer inflation climbed to almost eight-year peaks in November as pork prices doubled, but factory-gate prices remained in the red, adding to uncertainty over whether the manufacturing sector is bottoming out as trade risks persist.

The consumer price index rose 4.5 per cent last month from a year earlier, following a 3.8 per cent gain in October, the National Bureau of Statistics data showed on Tuesday (Dec 10). Pork prices alone lifted headline CPI by 2.64 percentage points in November.

Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News had forecast an increase of 4.3 percent on-year.

Food prices grew 19.1 percent year on year last month, up from 15.5 percent in October, while non-food prices gained 1 percent, 0.1 percentage points higher than that of October.

Weak prices were mainly seen in oil and gas extraction and chemical fiber manufacturing sectors.

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The twin trends of rising consumer costs and falling factory prices have caused a problem for Beijing as the government tries to steer the economy through weakening global demand and US President Donald Trump's imposition of tariffs.

Beijing has rolled out a series of measures to support growth, including reductions in market interest rates and front-loading 1 trillion yuan ($142.1bn) worth of local government special bonds issuances from the 2020 quota to this year. "The latest inflation numbers showed that a 110% rise in pork prices continued to exert upwards pressure on headline CPI while factory gate prices have continued to remain under pressure indicating a lack of internal demand".

China and the United States are negotiating a first phase trade deal aimed at de-escalating their trade dispute but they continue to wrangle over key details.

Prices for other meat consumed as pork alternatives rose between 11.8% to 25.7% on year in November, the statistics bureau said.

However, core CPI for November remained benign at 1.4%, down from 1.5% in the previous month.

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