BEIJING – Consumption inflation in China slowed in March due to lower prices for food and non-food products, as businesses resumed work as the coronavirus crisis eased.
The consumer price index rose 4.3% in March compared with the same month a year earlier, falling 5.2% in February, according to data released Friday by the National Bureau of Statistics. The reading was lower than the median forecast of a 4.8% increase by economists in a Wall Street Journal poll.
Food prices rose 18.3% in March compared to 21.9% in February. Pork prices jumped 116.4% from 135.2%, and the overall CPI alone rose 2.79 percentage points in March.
Prices for non-food products rose 0.7% in March, after increasing 0.9% in February.
On a monthly basis, the CPI decreased 1.2% from February, compared with growth of 0.8% a month earlier.
At the same time, the producer price index, an ex-factory price gauge, fell 1.5% over the year in March against a backdrop of sluggish domestic and external demand. This compared to a drop of 0.4% in February.
Economists polled by the Wall Street Journal expected producer inflation to fall 1.1%.