Inflation in China rose to its highest level in more than a year in May driven by surges in pork and fruit prices caused by the African swine fever epidemic and bad weather, official data showed Wednesday.
But while prices are increasing, demand remains weak because of the trade war with the United States and economic uncertainty.
The consumer price index (CPI) — a key gauge of retail inflation — hit 2.7 percent, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said, compared with 2.5 percent in April and the highest since February 2018.
The data was in line with a forecast of analysts polled by Bloomberg News.
The rise was “largely the result of renewed acceleration in food price inflation”, and pork supply disruptions caused by African swine fever, Capital Economics said in a note.
Millions of pigs have been culled recently as the disease cuts through China and beyond, devastating global food chains and impacting pork prices from the food markets of Hong Kong to US dinner tables.
The price of pork soared 18.2 percent in May, China’s NBS said. The price of fresh fruit on-year was up 26.7 percent as bad weather hammered supplies.
Beijing’s official statistics say around one million pigs have been killed since the first outbreak in August — but that is widely considered to be an underestimate.
The producer price index (PPI), an important indicator of domestic demand, hit 0.6 percent in May, from 0.9 percent the previous month.
Economic “growth could slow further on escalating US-China trade tensions”, Nomura International said in a note.
“We expect Beijing to undertake further easing/stimulus measures to bolster confidence and to stabilise growth.”
US President Donald Trump is expected to meet China’s Xi Jinping at the G20 summit in Japan this month to discuss the long-running trade row, but US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has warned that it will not be a stage for a “definitive agreement”.
Election gift for Florida? Trump poised to approve drug imports from Canada
Six states — Colorado, Florida, Maine, New Hampshire, New Mexico and Vermont — have passed laws allowing them to seek federal approval to buy drugs from Canada to give their residents access to lower-cost medicines.
But industry observers say the drug importation proposal under review by the administration is squarely aimed at Florida — the most populous swing state in the November election. Trump's support of the idea initially came at the urging of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a close Republican ally.
‘Highly unusual’: Bill Barr’s Russiagate prosecutor expands probe to include Clinton Foundation
John Durham, the U.S. attorney appointed by Attorney General Bill Barr to investigate the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election, has reportedly expanded the scope of his investigation to look into past allegations of wrongdoing by the Clinton Foundation.
The New York Times reports that Durham "has sought documents and interviews about how federal law enforcement officials handled an investigation around the same time into allegations of political corruption at the Clinton Foundation."
Cops violated Breonna Taylor’s civil rights before they even knocked down her door: Legal expert
A legal expert explained that Breonna Taylor's civil rights were violated before Louisville police showed up at her apartment to serve a search warrant.
Civil rights attorney Maya Wiley told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" the system that let police off the hook in Taylor's killing was inherently rigged against people of color, because it shields officers from accountability when they make mistakes.
"Remember [this] started as a no-knock warrant, and because she had no criminal record, because there were real questions here, they actually changed it to a knock-and-announce [warrant], that tells you something," Wiley said. "It also tells us we need to know more because, as I said, there were indications the Postal Service inspector said they didn't think there were suspicious packages, so there is a need to understand more."