China witnesses highest factory inflation in 25 years

 China witnesses highest factory inflation in 25 years

BEIJING: China’s factory-gate prices rose at the highest rate in at least 25 years in September, official data showed Thursday, hit by the rising cost of coal.

The producer price index (PPI), which measures the cost of goods at the factory gate, rose 10.7 percent on-year, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

It was the highest level on record in NBS data, which goes back to October 1996.

The figures come after factory-gate inflation jumped to a 13-year high in August, reflecting a surge in commodity prices — piling pressure on businesses already struggling with power rationing last month that affected output.

“In September, affected by factors such as rising prices of coal and some energy-intensive industry products, the price increase of industrial products continued to expand,” said NBS senior statistician Dong Lijuan in a statement.

Dong added that among 40 industrial sectors surveyed, 36 saw price hikes — including coal mining, which saw a bump of 74.9 percent.

Meanwhile, the consumer price index (CPI), a key gauge of retail inflation, came in at 0.7 percent on-year, slightly down from the 0.8 percent reading for August.

The NBS said that pork prices — which fuelled a spike in CPI previously — fell by 46.9 percent on an annual basis.

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