In April, the politically sensitive food prices increased by 0.7 percent, easing from a 2.1 percent rise in March and marking the slowest gain in food prices since a decline in January. In particular, the price of fresh fruit rose by 4.2 percent compared to a 7.4 percent increase in March, and eggs rose 14.9 percent, also below the 17.6 percent advance recorded in the previous month. The price of pork continued to fall (-16.1 percent vs -12 percent in March).
Meanwhile, non-food food inflation was unchanged at 2.1 percent. Upward pressure came from: clothing (1.1 percent, the same as in March); rent, fuel & utilities (2.2 percent, the same as in March); household goods and services (1.5 percent vs 1.6 percent); transport and communication (1.1 percent vs 0.3 percent); education, culture and recreation (2 percent vs 2.2 percent); healthcare (5.2 percent vs 5.7 percent); and other goods and services (0.9 percent vs 1.2 percent).
Annual core inflation, which excludes the prices of food and energy, stood at 2 percent in April, the same as in the previous month.
On a monthly basis, consumer prices fell by 0.2 percent, following a 1.1 percent drop in March while markets were expecting a smaller 0.1 percent decline.
The Chinese government confirmed in April that it set the inflation target for 2018 at around 3 percent.
Meanwhile, the producer price index, which measures wholesale inflation, increased by 3.4 percent from a year earlier in April, following a 3.1 percent rise in the previous month, but still missing market expectations of 3.5 percent. Prices of means of production went up at a faster pace (4.5 percent vs 4.1 percent), namely extraction (6.1 percent vs 5 percent), raw materials (5.7 percent vs 5.1 percent) and processing (3.9 percent vs 3.7 percent). Meantime, cost of consumer goods rose at a slower 0.1 percent (vs 0.2 percent in March), namely food production (0.1 percent vs unchanged), daily use goods (0.9 percent, the same as in March), and clothing (0.2 percent vs 0.3 percent); while prices of consumer durable goods declined further (-0.6 percent vs -0.3 percent). On a monthly basis, producer prices fell by 0.2 percent, the same pace as in March.