China's consumer inflation retreats in September

Editor:Sharon Lee
Updated:2017-10-16 13:10:36

  BEIJING, Oct. 16 (Xinhua) -- China's consumer inflation retreated mildly in September weighed down by dropping food prices, while steady service prices allowed a continued rise in overall price levels.

  The consumer price index (CPI) grew 1.6 percent year on year in September, slowing from August's 1.8 percent but still faster than July's 1.4 percent, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Monday. It was the eighth straight month for the main gauge to stay beneath the 2-percent mark.

  On a monthly basis, the index was up 0.5 percent, slightly higher than the 0.4 percent seen in the previous month.

  NBS statistician Sheng Guoqing attributed the milder inflation to lackluster food prices, which account for a significant part of the CPI calculation.

  "Food prices declined 1.4 percent from a year ago, contributing 0.28 percentage point to the slowdown," said Sheng.

  Prices of pork, a staple meat in China, dragged down the whole sector with a loss of 12.4 percent.

  Meanwhile, the increase in non-food prices picked up speed. Led by services, including heath care and home rents, non-food prices gained 2.4 percent year on year, quickening from August's 2.3 percent.

  Health care prices jumped 7.6 percent from a year earlier, the biggest increase in around 20 years. Home rents and education, culture and entertainment product prices also saw marked increases.

  For the first nine months of the year, the CPI climbed 1.5 percent from one year earlier, safely lower than the government goal of 3 percent for the whole year.