China’s consumer price index (CPI), the main indicator of inflation, rose 4.3% year-on-year in March from 5.2% the previous month, the National Statistics Office (ONE) reported today.
This is the first time in 2020 that inflation has grown below 5% and the smallest increase since last October, when it grew by 3.8%; since the increases of November, December, January and February were, respectively, 4.5%, 4.5%, 5.4% and 5.2%, all of them in interannual terms.
As in previous months, the ONE data shows that the main protagonists of the increase in the CPI were food, which increased 18.3% (compared to 21.9% in February).
Specifically, the price of pork, one of the products most demanded by Chinese consumers, remains unstoppable and increased 116.4% year-on-year last month (in February it did 135% year-on-year), given that its production has been seen diminished by an epidemic of African swine fever that has decimated the national herd.
Likewise, the price of fresh vegetables fell 0.1%, while that of fresh fruits fell 6.1%, while that of eggs rose 1.9%.
The ONE indicated that the price of non-food products grew 0.7% year-on-year (by 0.9% the previous month), that of consumer goods increased 6.2%, and that of services, a 1.1%.
The cost of education, culture and entertainment increased 5.3% and 2.5% compared to the same month the previous year, respectively, while the prices of transport and communications fell 3.8% %.
The source also published today the production price index (PPI), which measures wholesale inflation, which fell 1.5% year-on-year in March after the slight decrease of 0.4% in February.
Likewise, ONE released the data for the quarterly increase in inflation, which in the first quarter of 2020 was 4.9%.