Inflation expected to remain manageable this year

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China Daily, October 15, 2022
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A customer picks commodities at a supermarket in Congtai district, Handan city, Hebei province, on Aug 10, 2022. [Photo/Xinhua]

China's inflation is expected to remain mild and controllable for the remainder of the year, and the country is capable of meeting its annual consumer inflation target of around 3 percent for 2022, experts said on Friday.

Unlike much of the rest of the world which is being pummeled by high inflation, China's consumer inflation rose at a slower-than-expected pace in September, providing policymakers with more space for monetary and fiscal easing, they said.

China's consumer price index, a main gauge of inflation, rose 2.8 percent year-on-year in September, following a 2.5 percent rise the previous month, said the National Bureau of Statistics on Friday.

China's September producer price index, which gauges factory-gate prices, increased 0.9 percent from a year ago, the lowest rise in 20 months.

Zhou Maohua, an analyst at China Everbright Bank, said the September CPI rise is mainly due to pork and vegetable price hikes, while the slower-than-anticipated PPI rise was due to effective government measures to ensure stable prices and supplies.

Zhou said the steady declines in factory-gate price inflation will provide a buffer for some midstream and downstream enterprises struggling with high input costs and imported inflationary pressure.

"The sharp divergence between PPI inflation in China and the Eurozone (43.3 percent year-on-year in August) suggests China may be gaining a competitive advantage in manufacturing that could help bolster China's exports," said Lu Ting, chief China economist at Nomura.

Looking ahead, Lu said he expects China's CPI will rise 2.3 percent year-on-year and PPI will decline 1.2 percent year-on-year in October on a higher base and slowing economy.

Compared with soaring prices in other major economies, China's overall price levels are generally stable. The US Labor Department reported that the country's consumer inflation in September surged 8.2 percent from a year ago, with core inflation soaring to a four-decade high.

Despite the fact that inflation will likely persist for some time globally, experts said China has the capability to cope with price fluctuations in the coming months.

Teng Tai, director of the Wanbo New Economic Research Institute, expects China's CPI will rise around 2.2 percent in 2022 to stay within the annual target of around 3 percent.

Teng said China's stable prices and relatively mild inflation will leave some leeway for the government to step up macro policy support for the economy, and the country has plenty of room for monetary easing in the following months.

Yi Gang, governor of the People's Bank of China, said at a G20 finance minister and central bank governor meeting on Thursday that China's price level is basically stable, and the nation's central bank will step up the implementation of prudent monetary policy to provide stronger support for the real economy.

During the meeting, Finance Minister Liu Kun called for joint efforts among G20 members to deal with global challenges such as inflation as well as food and energy security and boosting infrastructure investment.

Liu said China will stay committed to the general principle of pursuing progress while ensuring stability and promote the implementation of relevant policy measures, providing strong support for global economic recovery and offering more business opportunities for global stakeholders.

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