China Inflation -0.8% On Month In May

TEWKESBURY UNITED KINGDOM- JULY 23 A mother and her son look at the empty bakery shelves in a supermarket on July 23 2007 in Tewkesbury England. Flooding has caused wideswept disruption across the country with further regions braced for more floods

Consumer Prices Fall For Third Straight Month Despite Soaring Grocery Prices 4

The orderly restoration of work and production amid a generally stable COVID-19 situation helped moderate consumer inflation, according to Dong Lijuan, a senior statistician with the bureau.

The consumer price index (CPI), which measures the prices of a basket of consumer goods and services, rose 2.4% year-on-year, the fourth straight monthly decline and down from a 3.3% pace in April, data (link in Chinese) from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed. Martin Rasmussen of Capital Economics noted the PPI change was driven by "an across-the-board decline in raw materials, manufactured goods and consumer goods price inflation".

Meanwhile, the producer price index fell 3.7% in May - a four-year low - compared to a 3.1% drop in April and expectations for a 3.3% decline, amid subdued demand. "This should continue to drag down headline consumer price inflation". The food index, in contrast, increased 0.7 percent in May as the index for food at home rose 1.0 percent.

That was largely due to slowing food prices, which rose 10.6% in May from a year earlier, versus a 14.8% rise in April. That amounted to 2.4 percent in May on an annual basis, compared to 3.3 percent in April.

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"This is the first time this index has ever declined in three consecutive months", the Labor Department said, referring to core prices.

In the first five months, the average PPI fell by 1.7 percent over the same period a year ago.

The scant inflation also will reinforce the Federal Reserve's willingness to pump liquidity into the economy to insulate it from shocks caused by the pandemic, since there are no signs that policy is boosting prices as it would be expected to do in a healthy economy. "The larger-than-expected drop in inflation could also alleviate some recent fears in the bond markets", Lu said.

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