Consumer inflation eases in October

CHINA, 20 November 2018 - CPI growth was down slightly from September due to falling food prices
calendar icon 20 November 2018
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China's consumer inflation growth eased in October due to cooling domestic demand and a high base last year, officials said on 9 November.

Analysts say that although the index is expected to continue to moderate, this will not affect the country's monetary easing this year.

The consumer price index growth was 2.5 percent last month, unchanged from September, the National Bureau of Statistics said.

But in month-on-month terms, CPI growth slowed to 0.2 percent from 0.7 percent in September.

The results are attributable to falling food prices, said Sheng Guoqing, a senior official at the bureau.

Energy prices were the main contributor to consumer inflation growth last month, Sheng said.

"The easing of consumer inflation is not surprising," according to Bank of China International. The CPI is expected to continue to weaken in the remainder of the year, it said.

Securities company Nomura said China's inflationary pressure remains "mild and contained". It said China's consumer inflation may remain mild - at 2.1 percent - for the whole of 2018 on average.

China set a CPI growth control target of 3 percent for this year in March. In 2017, real CPI growth was 1.6 percent.

Previously, the market had shown concern about surging consumer inflation, coupled with slowing economic growth.

But the October CPI result shows that such worries were overblown, Bank of China International said.

Nomura said: "We believe contained inflation will not affect Beijing's policy easing agenda. Investors should keep an eye on developments around African swine fever, but risks to headline inflation from other factors - floods in Shouguang, Shandong province, skyrocketing rents in Beijing, renminbi depreciation and escalating China-US trade tensions - are overdone."

Growth of China's factory-gate inflation, or producer price index, slowed for the fourth month in October, standing at 3.3 percent, as a result of cooling domestic demand for raw materials and a relatively high base in the same month last year.

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