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Consumer prices jump the most in more than 2 years

China’s consumer price index rose 2.8% in September from a year ago as food prices, particularly pork, rose.

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BEIJING – China’s consumer prices rose in September at the fastest pace in more than two years as pork prices rose, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Friday.

The consumer price index rose 2.8% last month from a year ago, in line with expectations in a Reuters poll.

That marked the fastest pace since a 3.3% year-over-year increase in April 2020, according to Wind Information.

Much of the gain came from a continued rise in pork prices, which rose 36% year-on-year for the biggest increase since August 2020, wind data showed. Pork, a staple food in China, has a significant weighting in the country̵[ads1]7;s official consumer price index.

However, other indicators pointed to subdued consumer demand.

Excluding food and energy, the so-called core CPI rose just 0.6% from a year ago – the slowest pace since March 2021, according to Wind.

Consumer prices jump the most in more than 2 years

China’s producer price index rose 0.9% in September from a year ago, missing the Reuters estimate of 1%. The index grew at the slowest rate since January 2021, according to Wind.

The weak core CPI and a disappointing decline in China’s producer price index reflect soft Chinese consumer demand and falling overseas demand, said Bruce Pang, chief economist and head of research, Greater China, JLL.

He said the producer price index is expected to decline further and potentially enter negative territory in the coming months.

Impact on US inflation

Changes in China’s producer price index tend to precede similar changes in the U.S. by about one or two months, Francoise Huang, senior economist at Allianz Trade, said in a phone interview earlier this week.

She said the weaker Chinese economy could help central banks in other countries battling domestic inflation.

After several decades of high price increases, the US central bank has raised interest rates five times this year, and is expected to raise interest rates again in three weeks.

Read more about China from CNBC Pro

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