China’s inflation surges to 3.6%

PTI Beijing | Updated on April 09, 2012

China’s inflation rebounded to 3.6 per cent in March after logging a lower growth in February, triggering concerns over the country’s ability to contain the rate of price rise.

China’s consumer price index (CPI), the main gauge of inflation, expanded 3.6 per cent year-on-year in March, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said today.

It was higher than 3.2 per cent rate registered in February, the lowest pace recorded in 20 months, state-run Xinhua reported.

Food prices, which account for nearly one-third of the weighting in the calculation of China’s CPI, increased 7.5 per cent last month from one year earlier.

The rebound comes as the public fret over vegetable and fuel price hikes that have triggered a fresh wave of inflation concerns.

Statistics from the Ministry of Commerce showed that the wholesale prices of 18 staple vegetables rose for four consecutive weeks from February, posting an increase of 9.7 per cent by early March.

But analysts attributed the surge to inclement weather and held that the trend is likely to be stemmed as the weather gradually warms up.

Meanwhile, oil price hikes have had only a minor impact on CPI growth as oil only plays a small part in the calculation, said Mr Tang Jianwei, senior analyst at the Bank of Communications.

He said short-term factors will not alter the downward trend of China’s inflation for the whole year.

The Chinese Government is aiming to keep CPI increases to around 4 per cent. The country’s CPI climbed 3.8 per cent in the first quarter compared with the previous year.

Published on April 09, 2012

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