BEIJING: China's consumer prices grew at its fastest rate of nearly eight years in October driven by an increase in pork prices caused by an outbreak of African swine fever, according to official figures released on Saturday.
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) – a key measure of retail price inflation – hit 3.8 percent last month, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said, up from 3.0pc in September and the highest annual interest rate since January 2012.  Analysts in a Bloomberg News poll had predicted a rate of 3.4 pcs. Pork prices, the staple meat in China, have more than doubled over the past year, according to NBS.
More than a million pigs have been killed due to widespread outbreaks since African swine fever appeared in August 201
This in turn has also pushed up prices of other meats, including beef, chicken, duck and eggs when consumers switch to other protein sources. Spike has led the government to intervene to stabilize prices and guarantee supplies, according to official Xinhua news agency.
"Chinese leaders are terrified of inflation," Beijing-based research firm Trivium China said in a note, describing price rises as "one of the major drivers of the 1989 Tiananmen protests."
Published in Dawn, November 10, 2019