Chinas Consumer Prices Drop for First Time Since 2009

Chinas consumer price index fell in November for the first time in about a decade as food prices dropped. The consumer price index, a measure of inflation that tracks prices for a basket of consumer goods and services, fell 0.5 in November from a year ago, Chinas National Bureau of Statistics said Wednesday.

The decline marked the first drop since October 2009, according to the Wind Information database. Food prices fell 2 as pork prices declined 12.5 in November from a year ago. The drop in prices for the Chinese meat staple follows a surge in the last year due to a shortage of pork as a result of an African swine fever outbreak.

The sharp increase in pork prices in the last three months of 2019 makes Novembers drop less meaningful, Ting Lu, chief China economist at Nomura, said in an email. The negative yearonyear inflation does not mean deflation for China, he said. Economists did not expect major changes in monetary policy from the Peoples Bank of China as a result of the drop in CPI.

The socalled core CPI which excludes food and energy prices rose 0.5 in November from a year ago. Medical care prices rose 1.5, while that of education, culturerelated activities and entertainment rose 1, according to the statistics bureau.

The producer price index, which measures prices of goods and services from the perspective of sellers, fell 1.5 in November from a year ago. That was 0.6 percentage points less of a decline versus Octobers figure, the statistics bureau said….

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