China’s Inflation Spikes, Tightening To Continue

Inflation spiked in March, with consumer prices up 5.4% year-on-year, their fastest growth in nearly three years (via Xinhua). February’s holiday-distorted inflation number was 4.9%. March’s rise confirmed the worst expectations of many economists following the central bank hiking interest rates again earlier this month. The tightening in place since last October, when the rate-rises started, has barely braked the pace of economic growth. GDP grew by 9.7% year-on-year in the first quarter, against 9.8% in the fourth quarter of last year, more robust growth than policy makers would like. With inflation expected to peak mid-year, though global commodity prices are a wild card, the gradual tightening (and yuan appreciation) will continue as the pendulum of concern swings back towards inflation.

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