China Inflation Eases In October

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BEIJING, Nov. 9 (UPI) — China, battling inflation for months, got some relief Wednesday, with the October rate up 5.5 percent year-on-year, but down from 6.1 percent in September.

The October growth in the consumer price index, China’s main gauge of inflation, was the slowest since May of this year, the National Bureau of Statistics said Wednesday.

The inflation rate, despite a number of government measures, had stubbornly stayed over 6 percent in recent month, hitting a 37-month high of high of 6.5 percent in July. The government’s target for this year is 4 percent.

“The October CPI data showed that the government’s price control efforts have started to pay off,” said Zhang Liqun, a researcher with the Development Research Center of China’s Cabinet, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

The slowing of price rises may encourage the government to loosen its money-tightening and other inflation-fighting policies, but inflationary pressures were expected to continue due to excess liquidity.

“It is a critical moment for the country’s macroeconomic control policies and we can’t be too careless in loosening the policies,” Zhang was quoted as saying.

China’s producer price index, which measures inflation at the wholesale level, also showed improvement, rising 5 percent year-on-year in October, but down from 6.5 percent in September.

The Chinese Cabinet said late last month its strong measures would continue to keep consumer prices stable.

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