Costlier Food Ups China's Inflation in September

Higher food prices have raised China's consumer-price index in September to 3.1%, the fastest pace in seven months.


"The higher consumer price data may have been due to a [temporary] food-supply shock," Tim Condon, economist at ING, told the Wall Street Journal. "But there is nothing from this data that suggests a policy response is needed."


The prices of food in September jumped 6.1% year over year, accelerating from the 4.7% rise in August. Fresh vegetable prices surged 18.9% in the month. Strong typhoon Usagi struck southern China in September, hitting key agricultural areas, and that may have contributed to the rise in vegetable prices, economists told the Journal.


Data from the National Bureau of Statistics also showed that China's consumer-price index in September rose faster than a 2.6% rise in August.The September inflation figure, which exceeded market expectations of about 2.9%, was still within the government's 3.5% target for the year.


Meanwhile, prices at the factory level continued to fall, registering their 19th month of year-over-year declines, though at a slower pace than in August. Economists predict that factory price inflation will probably remain negative through the end of the year.


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