Commodities Buzz: Chinas CPI Up 2.1% In March 2018

Chinas consumer price index (CPI), a main gauge of inflation, rose 2.1 percent year on year in March, compared with 2.9 percent for February, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed Wednesday. On a month on month basis, CPI declined 1.1 percent, according to NBS data.

NBS statistician Sheng Guoqing attributed the month-on-month drop to the ebb of holiday factors, which pushed up demand in February. Food prices went down 4.2 percent in March compared with February, contributing 0.86 percentage point to the month-on-month decline in CPI. As travel demand faded after the Spring Festival, prices of air tickets, travel agency charges, and long-distance bus tickets dropped 18.7 percent, 11.7 percent, and 4.7 percent respectively, compared with February.

Year on year, both food and non-food prices climbed 2.1 percent in March, moderating from the growth seen in February. China expects CPI to increase by around 3 percent this year, according to a government work report released in March. The producer price index (PPI), which measures costs for goods at the factory gate, rose 3.1 percent year on year in March, easing from a growth of 3.7 percent in February, NBS data showed.