China’s consumer inflation picked up slightly in November, while factories were plagued by persistent producer price deflation in another sign that Beijing’s year-long easing efforts have yet to restore momentum to a fragile economy.
The November consumer price index (CPI) rose 1.5 per cent from a year earlier, compared with 1.3 per cent in October, National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) data showed on Wednesday. A Reuters poll had predicted a 1.4 per cent rise.
The producer price index (PPI) fell 5.9 per cent in November from year earlier, in line with expectations and flat from October’s drop. It marked the 45th straight month of declines in the index.
On a monthly basis, consumer prices were flat, compared with a 0.3 per cent fall in October.
Chinese manufacturing has been stagnating for more than three years, with wholesale prices sliding continuously as legions of small companies compete desperately to stay above water.
Trade data on Tuesday showed exports falling a worse-than-expected 6.8 per cent from a year earlier in November, their fifth straight month of decline, while imports tumbled 8.7 per cent, their 13th drop in a row.
China’s National Bureau of Statistics’ official Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) hit 49.6 in November, its lowest reading since August 2012 and down from the previous month’s reading of 49.8.
In a bid to avert a sharper economic slowdown, China’s central bank has already cut interest rates six times since last November and reduced the amount of cash that banks must set aside as reserves. The government has also eased restrictions on home buying to boost the sluggish property market and is trying to ramp up infrastructure spending.
Economic growth dipped to 6.9 per cent in the third quarter, according to official statistics, dropping below the 7 per cent mark for the first time since the global financial crisis.