People shop at a supermarket in Zaozhuang City, east China's Shandong Province, Oct. 14, 2022. (Photo by Sun Zhongzhe/Xinhua)
BEIJING, Nov. 9 (Xinhua) -- China's consumer price index (CPI), a main gauge of inflation, rose 2.1 percent year on year in October, contracting from a 2.8-percent growth in September, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Wednesday.
Senior NBS statistician Dong Lijuan attributed the stable CPI performance to falling demands after the National Day holiday and a higher year-on-year comparison base.
The core CPI, which excludes food and energy prices, gained 0.6 percent year on year in October, unchanged from the prior month.
Food prices went up 7 percent year on year, moderating 1.8 percentage points from that in September, while non-food prices saw a 1.1-percent yearly gain, narrowing 0.4 percentage points from the previous month.
The prices of fresh vegetables, fresh fruits, and aquatic products reversed September's increases to decline by 4.5 percent, 1.6 percent, and 2.3 percent, month on month, respectively, as plenty of supplies hit the market and the demand weakened, Dong noted.
Pork, a staple meat in China, saw prices surge 51.8 percent in October year on year, expanding 15.8 percentage points over the previous month. The rise of pork prices was mainly driven by the shortage of supply, seasonal strengthening consumer demand, and "reluctance to sell" market sentiment, Dong said.
Keeping consumer prices stable is high on the government agenda, as China has taken measures to release six batches of central pork reserves into the market. China will also tighten market monitoring and early warning of the prices of daily necessities and smooth the transportation of daily necessities to ensure sufficient supply and stable prices.
Wednesday's data also showed China's producer price index, which measures costs for goods at the factory gate, went down 1.3 percent year on year in October.
The figure eased from the 0.9-percent year-on-year increase registered in September due to a high comparison base in the same period last year, said Dong Lijuan.
"Generally speaking, with government measures to ensure the supply and prices of energy and daily necessities, China's consumer prices remained generally stable, in sharp contrast to the high level of international inflation," Guo Liyan, a researcher with the Chinese Academy of Macroeconomic Research, said.
Looking into the whole year, analysts forecast the overall prices may continue to rise moderately as China has a solid foundation for maintaining prices stable.
Considering the tightening monetary policies of major economies and the weakening commodity prices in the global market, Guo expected China's PPI to record negative year-on-year growth in the fourth quarter of the year. Guo added that this would help middle and downstream manufacturing enterprises reduce costs. ■