China’s producer price inflation continued to cool in March, slowing to a 17-month low and backing expectations of a broader slackening in economic growth this year.
Consumer inflation also eased in the previous month as the effects of booming demand spurred by the Lunar New Year holiday in February receded, official data showed on Wednesday.
There are some worries that an escalating trade dispute between China and the United States could push up inflation over the coming months, though many analysts believe any impact on consumer prices will be limited.
The producer price index (PPI) rose 3.1 percent in March from a year earlier, compared with 3.7 percent in February, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said.
China’s factory-gate inflation has now softened for five months in a row, supporting the view that a slowdown in the world’s second largest economy is inevitable, weighed down by the cooling property market and rising borrowing costs.
Analysts polled by Reuters had expected March producer inflation would moderate slightly to 3.2 percent.
On a month-on-month basis, the PPI fell 0.2 percent, while for the first three months of this year it rose 3.7 percent from a year ago.