China’s Inflation Peaks On A High Plateau


With our usual caveat about not relying on one month’s data, China’s inflation seems to have peaked with August’s consumer price inflation (CPI) coming in at 6.2% year-on-year, against July’s 6.5%. The number is considerably higher than target so getting it down further remains policymakers’ priority. August’s CPI figure was driven by food prices, up 13.8%, and contributing 4 percentage points to the headline number, officials say. Stripping that out would put inflation below target, which is making some think that there won’t be a further round of interest-rate rises as food prices aren’t overly susceptible to monetary policy. However, food prices are remaining stubbornly high and this Bystander suspects that the CPI underreports other prices rises that affect the politically sensitive cost of living. Thus another gentle twist of the monetary ratchet is likely before year’s end.

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