Friday, July 25, 2014   

China inflation hits four-month high: government
(06-10 10:47)

China's annual inflation rose sharply in May to its highest level in four months, official data showed Tuesday, likely easing concerns about deflationary risks in the world's second-biggest economy.
The consumer price index increased by 2.5 percent year-on-year last month, accelerating from 1.8 percent in April, the National Bureau of Statistics said in a statement. It was the highest figure since January also saw CPI rise 2.5 percent.
The May figure matched the median forecast in a poll of 15 economists by the Wall Street Journal.
The increase was mainly driven by rises in food costs, particularly a 20-percent surge in the cost of fruit, the NBS said.
Despite the rebound in May, CPI was still well below the 3.5 percent annual target set by Beijing in March and may ease worries about possible deflation in the Chinese economy, a key driver of world growth.
The producer price index (PPI) -- a measure of costs for goods at the factory gate and a leading indicator of the trend for CPI -- also improved to a decline of 1.4 percent in May, the NBS said in a separate statement.
That was up from a decrease of 2.0 percent in April and marked the highest level since December, when PPI was also minus 1.4 percent, according to official data.
Moderate inflation can be a boon to consumption as it encourages consumers to buy before prices go up. In contrast, as Japan has seen, falling prices encourage consumers to put off spending and companies to delay investment, both of which act as brakes on growth. --AFP   
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