Monday, October 14, 2013
DJ: China CPI Speeds Up In September
BEIJING--China's consumer inflation quickened slightly in September, but not enough to worry policy makers who are trying to steer the world's second-largest economy to stronger growth.
The 3.1% increase in the consumer price index, which topped expectations, was due mostly to higher food prices, reflecting typhoon damage as well as seasonal factors.
"The higher consumer price data may have been due to a (temporary) food supply shock," said Tim Condon, economist at ING. "But there is nothing from this data that suggests a policy response is needed."
China's economic growth had been slowing in the first half of the year but more recent data have suggested that growth will not be too disappointing this year. Government officials have been showing more confidence in growth prospects. Deputy central bank governor Yi Gang was quoted by Xinhua as saying growth should exceed the 7.5% target this year.
China has been trying to boost growth by using a mini-stimulus policy, combining more spending on railways and subways and offering tax breaks to businesses. Mild inflation means that the government still has room for pro-growth policies without having to worry about triggering faster price rises.
September's rise in CPI was faster than the 2.6% rise in August, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed Monday. But the figure, which exceeded market expectations of about 2.9%, was still within the government's 3.5% target for the year.
Food prices jumped 6.1% on-year in September, accelerating from the 4.7% rise in August. Fresh vegetable prices surged 18.9% in the month.
Typhoon Usagi struck in September, hitting key agricultural areas and possibly contributing to the uptick in prices.
The statistics bureau said that food prices were affected by seasonal demand ahead of the National Day and the Mid-Autumn festival.