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Dow Jones Newswires: China’s consumer prices grew at fastest pace in three months in March

BEIJING — China’s consumer prices grew at their fastest pace in three months in March as domestic supply-chain disruptions caused by stringent COVID-19 control measures, together with rising energy prices, pushed up the inflation, official data showed Monday.

China’s consumer price index increased 1.5% from a year earlier last month, up from 0.9% in February and higher than the 1.2% increase forecast by economists polled by The Wall Street Journal.

Food prices fell 1.5% from a year earlier, while non-food prices rose 2.2%. Among non-food products, the price of industrial consumer goods rose 1.1%, increasing 0.3% from the previous month, mainly driven by the rise in energy prices, said Dong Lijuan, a senior statistician with China’s statistics bureau.

CPI stayed flat on a monthly basis in March, compared with the 0.6% increase in February due to the decline in consumer demand after the Spring Festival, said the bureau.

The producer price index rose 8.3% from a year earlier in March, decelerating from an 8.8% increase in February, official data showed. That was the lowest level in 11 months, but higher than the 8.0% expected by economists polled by WSJ.

On a monthly basis, PPI ticked up 1.1% from the 0.6% increase in February as geopolitics and other factors continued to push up international commodity prices, driving up the prices of domestic oil, non-ferrous metals, and other related industries, the bureau said.

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