Chinese factory prices flatten, but consumer prices jump in June


Analysts polled by Reuters had expected producer price inflation to slow to 0.3% in June.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices were down 0.1% following the flat reading a month earlier. NBS official Dong Yaxiu attributed (link in Chinese) the sharp rise chiefly to a low comparison base a year earlier and heavy rains in southern China, which hit the fruit harvest and interfered with transporting the harvest.

The change in the PPI was the lowest since August 2016 when the index last fell year-on-year.

A cooling in producer prices, seen as a gauge of industrial demand that gives momentum to investment and profits in the Chinese economy, may rekindle worries about deflation and prompt the authorities to launch more aggressive stimulus.

"The recent collapse in pig supply suggests that upward pressure on food prices is likely to intensify in the coming months", said Julian Evans-Pritchard of Capital Economics in a note.

Prices in the education, culture and entertainment sector, health care and housing rose by 2.4 percent, 2.5 percent and 1.6 percent respectively, with the combined impact on the headline CPI rising by about 0.84 percentage points, according to the bureau.

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Beijing is fast-tracking more infrastructure projects but prices for some construction materials remain lacklustre.

At the same time, however, he and other top policymakers have reiterated that China will not resort to large-scale stimulus.

The consumer price index (CPI) in June rose 2.7 percent in annual terms, driven by higher food prices. At 0755 GMT, the yuan was quoted at 6.8796 per USA dollar, 0.04% firmer than the previous close of 6.8827.

"Food price inflation jumped from 0.7% yoy in February to 8.3% in June, the highest level since January 2012".

Meanwhile, prices for gasoline and diesel fell by 3.5 percent and 3.7 percent respectively, affected by factors including the price adjustment of refined oil, together contributing to 0.07 percentage points in the overall CPI decline.