China inflation rate eases

Consumer inflation dipped to 1.7 per cent in October, according to official figures.
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2012 11:39
Producer prices fell for the eight straight month in October [Reuters]

China's inflation rate has fallen slightly, according to official figures, as price pressures in the world's second-largest economy continue to ease.

The annual consumer inflation eased to 1.7 per cent in October from September's 1.9 per cent, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Friday.

The result marked the sixth month out of the last seven that consumer inflation has slowed.

Producer prices - which measure the costs of goods as they leave factories - declined 2.8 per cent year-on-year, falling for the eight straight month, NBS data showed. Producer prices fell 3.6 per cent in September.

The data come as China's economy grew 7.4 per cent in the third quarter through the end of September for its weakest performance in more than three years.

Still, recent statistics, including manufacturing, trade and industrial output, have led to optimism among economists that worst of China's slowdown may be over.

The central bank has been fine-tuning policy, including cutting benchmark interest rates twice in June and July and
lowered bank reserve ratios three times since late 2011.

But it has been relying on large-scale cash injections into the banking system via its open market operations to support economic growth while retaining sufficient policy flexibility to hedge against a possible rise in inflation.

Chinese shares were down 0.12 per cent in early trade after the release of the inflation figures.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index slipped 2.50 points to 2,069.01.


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