As expected the high price of pork again kept China’s Consumer Price Inflation well above 5% as consumers chased supplies of the meat for the Lunar New Year festival and ahead of the sudden worsening in the coronavirus crisis.
Chinese consumer prices increase at the fastest annual pace since October 2011 in January with the country’s National Bureau of Statistics reporting on Monday that inflation rose an annual 5.4% last month.
That was well up on the 4.5% seen at the end of 2019 and easily topped forecasts from the market around the 4.9% level.
A 20.6% jump in food prices over the year, significantly outpaced the much slower 1.6% rise in nonfood prices over the year.
Pork prices continue at high levels as the impact of the African swine fever outbreak continues to hit China’s pig raising sector.
The timing of the Lunar New Year holiday from January 25 meant price pressures which popped up in February in 2019, impacted the inflation reading a month earlier.
Interestingly though, producer prices returned to positive with a rise of 0.1% in January after more than six months of being negative – the rise came after the half a percent decline in December.