China’s CPI Slows in August as Covid Curbs, Energy Crunch Weigh on Economy

Consumer inflation in China was 2.5% in August, slower than expected due to an energy tightening continue to weigh on economic activity and COVID-19 flare-ups, official data showed.

Data released on Friday by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) indicated that the consumer price index (CPI) grew 2.5% annually, down from 2.7% growth in July. The reading was lower than the 2.8% increase that was expected by most analysts in a Reuters poll.

In August, producer prices increased by 2.3% annually, slipping from July’s 4.2% increase and falling short of the market consensus projection of 3.1% rise. This was the lowest annual increase in producer prices since February 2021.

Recent reports show the second largest economy in the world lost steam in August, adding to the gloom brought on by a sluggish real estate market and strict COVID-19 controls.

The People’s Bank of China (PBoC) issued a warning in August that structural inflation pressure is building in China and consumer price inflation (CPI) could exceed 3% in several months during the second half of the year.