Chinese inflation picks up in August

BEIJING (AFP) – China’s consumer price inflation rose more than expected in August, official data showed yesterday, after Beijing’s first wave of tariffs on US goods came into force, with prices of eggs and vegetables rising.

The consumer price index (CPI), an important barometer of retail inflation, rose 2.3 per cent on-year, from 2.1 per cent in July, marking the largest increase since February, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

The jump exceeded economist forecasts of 2.1 per cent but still comes in well below Beijing’s targetted ceiling of three per cent.

The price rise comes as experts forecast China’s tariffs on US soybean imports, a crucial component of livestock feed, could result in higher prices at the table for the world’s most populous country.

The producer price index decelerated to 4.1 per cent on-year in August, according to NBS data, compared with 4.6 per cent in July and above the four per cent forecast in a Bloomberg News survey.

Prices were lifted by higher raw material input costs, according to NBS data.

US President Donald Trump has pledged more tariffs on Chinese goods are in the pipeline – with duties on USD200 billion to be rolled out soon while another wave is under consideration, which would bring almost all imports from China under higher border taxes.

In response, Beijing has taxed American soybeans and cut other imports from the US.