China's consumer prices in September rose at the fastest pace since April 2020, fuelled by soaring pork prices and as extreme weather hit farmers.
Consumers on the mainland have been largely spared the impact of a global surge in food and energy costs following Russia's military offensive in Ukraine.
But data from the National Bureau of Statistics on Friday showed the consumer price index (CPI) rose 2.8 percent from a year earlier, quickening from a 2.5 percent increase in August.
Consumer inflation accelerated as food prices rose 8.8 percent on year from a 6.1 percent gain in August. Pork prices leapt 36 percent from 22.4 percent growth a month prior and vegetable prices jumped 12.1 percent from a 6 percent rise previously.
NBS senior statistician Dong Lijuan said the data comes after weeks of record temperatures above 40 Celsius, causing fresh vegetable prices to rise.
"With bullish expectations, some pork farmers are reluctant to sell, and prices continued to rise," Dong added in a statement.
Underlying inflation remained much more modest, however, with core inflation – which excludes volatile food and energy prices – at 0.6 percent versus 0.8 percent in August.
On a month-on-month basis, the CPI grew 0.3 percent after a 0.1 percent fall in August, also supported by a rise in monthly pork price inflation.
The producer price index grew at the slowest pace since January 2021, rising 0.9 percent year-on-year from 2.3 percent growth a month earlier, and compared with a forecast of 1.0 percent.
Analysts had expected producer inflation to pull back largely due to lower oil prices, with factory surveys suggesting companies were passing on some savings to customers in order to boost flagging sales.
The world's second-largest economy barely grew in the June quarter and has struggled to regain traction amid pandemic restrictions, a severe slump in the property market and softening exports. (Reuters/AFP)
Last updated: 2022-10-14 HKT 12:05