News ID: 216446
Published: 0516 GMT June 10, 2018

Economic Watch: China's inflation remains benign

Economic Watch: China's inflation remains benign

With consumer price growth continuing to be mild and factory prices of industrial products slightly edging up in May, China's inflation remains benign.

National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) data showed that China's consumer price index, a main gauge of inflation, rose 1.8 percent year-on-year in May, Xinhua wrote.

NBS statistician Sheng Guoqing mainly attributed the rise to carry-over effects, with new price-rising factors contributing only 0.4 percentage points.

Food prices edged up by 0.1 percent, resulting in a growth of 0.01 percentage points in the price index. Non-food prices rose by 2.2 percent, generating a rise of 1.74 percentage points.

Although the prices of eggs and vegetables and mutton surged by 24.7 percent, 10 percent and 13.5 percent, respectively, the price hikes have been largely offset by the decline in fruit prices, according to Sheng.

In May, the price of fruit dropped by 16.7 percent and 2.7 percent, respectively, dragging down food prices by 0.48 percentage points.

As for non-food prices, the costs of health care products grew by 5.1 percent while that of education and housing jumped by 2.7 percent and 2.2 percent, respectively.

On a month-on-month basis, consumer prices fell by 0.2 percent, following the same decline in April.

The CPI breakdown showed that lower food price were still the main factor in the decline, with non-food price inflation staying largely flat.

As domestic retail oil prices rose notably in May, the prices of gasoline and diesel grew by 3.7 percent and 4.1 percent, respectively. Meanwhile, health care, clothing, household items and residence all recorded moderate pick-ups.

Liu Xuezhi, a senior researcher with the Bank of Communication, said the core CPI excluding food and energy edged down to 1.9 percent in May from 2.0 percent in April, the same as the January figure and the lowest in nearly 15 months.

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