BEIJING – China’s consumer inflation hit a 15-month high in May, fueled by food prices, official data showed on Wednesday.
The consumer-price index was up 2.7 percent in May compared with a year earlier, accelerating from 2.5 percent growth in April, the National Bureau of Statistics said. The key inflation reading was in line with a median forecast by economists in a Wall Street Journal poll.
Food prices in May rose 7.7 percent, the fastest pace in over three years, after climbing 6.1 percent in April.
Fresh fruit prices rose by 26.7 percent on year, eclipsing the 17.4 percent reading in April. Pork prices rose 18.2 percent up from 14.4 percent in April. Combined, gains in fruit and pork prices boosted the headline index by 0.86 percentage point.
Supply disruptions due to reduced inventories and rainy weather in the south pushed fruit prices higher, said Dong Yaxiu, an economist with the statistics bureau.
Non Food prices climbed 1.6 percent, moderating slightly from a 1.7 percent increase in April.
On a month-to-month basis, the index was unchanged from April. In April, the index edged up 0.1 percent from the month earlier.
The government is aiming to keep consumer inflation under about 3 percent for 2019.
China’s producer-price inflation moderated in May, as commodities prices eased, official data showed.
The producer-price index rose 0.6 percent on year in May compared with 0.9 percent in April. The reading for factory-gate prices was also in line with economists’ expectations.
On month, the PPI increased 0.2 percent in May from a month earlier. In April, it rose 0.3 percent on month.