China’s inflation readings for February at the weekend did nothing to quell the idea that the economy is trundling along in low gear.
Price pressures for manufacturers and other producers are non-existent, a sign of the weakness across 40% of the economy.
February’s producer price index (PPI) edged up 0.1% year on year, China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on the weekend.
It was unchanged from the growth recorded in January and the reading supports the sluggish surveys of manufacturing for last month and January.
Month-on-month, the PPI slipped 0.1% last month, a slower rate of fall than the 0.6% drop in January.
The PPI for cement manufacturing dipped 2.3% from January a sign of deflation in a key part of the economy.
Last year, China’s PPI rose 3.5%, down from the 6.3% growth in 2017.
Meanwhile, China’s consumer price index (CPI) eased in February to an annual rate of 1.5% from February’s 1.7%.
Food prices climbed 0.7% year on year last month, down 1.2 percentage points from January.
Non-food prices gained 1.7%, unchanged from January.
On a month-on-month basis, the CPI was up 1% in February as prices rose during the Lunar New Year holiday break.