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China's Consumer Inflation Soars to Highest Level in Years

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11/08/2019 | 09:32pm EST

BEIJING -- China's consumer inflation soared in October to the highest level in more than seven years, fueled by a continued surge in hog prices, official data showed Friday.

The consumer-price index rose 3.8% in October from a year earlier, compared with a 3.0% increase in September, the National Bureau of Statistics said. The key inflation reading was higher than a median forecast of a 3.5% increase by economists in a Wall Street Journal.

Food prices in October grew 15.5% from a year earlier, the strongest pace in more than 11 years, after climbing 11.2% in September. Pork prices soared 101.3% on year in October, the fastest pace since the statistics bureau started releasing the data in 2005, according to data provider CEIC. Pork prices alone lifted CPI headline by 2.43 percentage points in October. Other food items, such as fresh vegetables and fruits, reported on-year declines last month.

Nonfood prices climbed 0.9% from a year earlier, moderating slightly from a 1.0% increase in September.

On a month-to-month basis, CPI edged up 0.9% in October. In September, the index rose 0.9% from the month earlier.

In the first 10 months, China's consumer inflation rose 2.6% from a year earlier, still below the government's ceiling of about 3% for 2019.

Meanwhile, China's producer-price index fell further to 1.6% in October, compared with a 1.2% decline in September. The result for factory-gate prices was lower than economists' median forecast of 1.5% drop.

The PPI rose 0.1% in October from a month earlier. In September, it edged up 0.1% from the preceding month.

Grace Zhu

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