China's November consumer inflation rises on pork prices rebound

Beijing (AFP) – Consumer inflation in China picked up to its highest level in over a year in November, official data showed Thursday, driven by a rebound in pork prices as seasonal demand spiked.


The consumer price index (CPI), a key gauge of retail inflation, came in at 2.3 percent on-year according to the National Bureau of Statistics -- slightly below expectations but still the highest since August 2020.

Rising food prices were a key factor, with the cost of pork -- a staple meat in the world's second-biggest economy -- hit by "growth in seasonal consumption demand and a short-term tight supply of fat pigs", NBS senior statistician Dong Lijuan said.

On a monthly basis, pork prices rose 12.2 percent, Dong added.

People appear to have started stocking up on pork for the winter, Capital Economics' senior China economist Julian Evans-Pritchard wrote in a recent note.

"There are signs that the pork supply is no longer improving too."

China's CPI has been driven up in recent years by pork prices after African swine fever ravaged stocks, and officials have been working to bring costs down.

Factory inflation, however, eased from a 26-year high in November, the latest data showed, with the producer price index (PPI) edging down to 12.9 percent.

This came as authorities stepped up policies to ensure that supplies and prices stabilised, Dong said, noting the "rapid rise" of coal and metals costs has been curbed for now.

The PPI, which measures the cost of goods at the factory gate, rose for four straight months previously, piling pressure on officials to stop costs from spiralling out of control.