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China’s CPI up 2.3% in March

Updated: Apr 11,2019 10:29 AM     Xinhua

A saleswoman arranges fruit at a supermarket in Handan, North China’s Hebei province, March 9, 2019.[Photo/Xinhua]

BEIJING — China’s consumer price index (CPI), a main gauge of inflation, rose 2.3 percent year-on-year in March, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on April 11.

The increase was up from 1.5 percent in February.

Food prices climbed 4.1 percent year-on-year in March, up from 0.7 percent in February, yet on a month-on-month basis food prices went down 0.9 percent, the NBS said.

Due to low vegetable yields in spring and cold rainy weather, prices of fresh vegetables posted a fast growth of 16.2 percent year-on-year in March, contributing 0.42 percentage points to the year-on-year CPI growth.

The growth of the pork price rebounded after declining for 25 consecutive months, rising 5.1 percent year-on-year in March.

On a month-on-month basis, the pork price moderately went up 1.2 percent on average nationwide as outbreaks of African swine fever were gradually contained, according to the NBS.

Non-food prices gained 1.8 percent, 0.1 percentage points higher than that in February.

Gasoline and diesel prices went up 3.6 percent and 4 percent respectively, while prices of agency services, plane tickets and hotel accommodation were dragged down by declining travel demand.

The CPI in urban areas and the countryside both increased 2.3 percent.

China’s CPI for 2018 rose 2.1 percent year-on-year, up from 1.6 percent for 2017. The growth exceeded 2 percent for the first time this year, but remained well below the government’s target of around 3 percent for 2019.