China's consumer inflation rises to 6-month high

China's consumer inflation cd.jpg

(Photo: China Daily)

BEIJING, May 9 (Xinhua) -- China's consumer inflation quickened to the highest level in six months as tighter supplies of vegetables, pork and fruit drove up food prices, official data showed Thursday.

The consumer price index (CPI), the main gauge of inflation, grew 2.5 percent year-on-year in April, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

The reading, in line with market expectations, accelerated from the 2.3-percent gain in March and 1.5-percent in February. On a monthly basis, consumer prices edged up 0.1 percent, compared with the 0.4-percent drop seen a month earlier.

Food prices, which account for nearly one-third of the weighting in China's CPI, went up 6.1 percent year on year.

Prices of vegetables and fruit went up 17.4 percent and 11.9 percent respectively, from the same period last year due to tighter supplies.

Affected by African swine fever, the stocks of hogs and breeding sows in China fell sharply, which put upward pressure on pork prices. In April, pork prices rose 14.4 percent year on year, driving a rise of 0.31 percentage points in CPI growth.

Wang Junxun, an official with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural affairs, said earlier that pork prices would continue to trend upwards, with hog prices likely to smash the record high seen in 2016 in the fourth quarter.

Thursday's data also showed China's producer price index, which measures inflation at the factory gates, rose 0.9 percent year-on-year last month after notching its first acceleration in nine months in March, showing improving market demand.