Consumer inflation in China picked up to its highest level in over a year in November, official data showed Thursday, bolstered by an uptick 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.
Disruptions to vegetable harvests due to bad weather added to food inflation, said Capital Economics' senior China economist Julian Evans-Pritchard.
In an earlier report, he noted that people appear to have started stocking up on pork for the winter, adding that "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 worked 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 had been curbed for now.
"The near-term outlook is for further moderation... reflecting sharp declines in world oil prices and key industrial metals prices," Rajiv Biswas of IHS Markit told AFP.
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.
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