China: Inflation drops in March as coronavirus hits demand and low oil prices bite
Consumer prices fell 1.2% over the previous month in March, contrasting February’s 0.8 % increase. The print mostly reflected lower food prices, especially for fresh vegetables and meat, as well as a decline in prices for transportation and communication, mostly reflecting a drop in oil prices.
Inflation declined from 5.2% in February to 4.3% in March. Moreover, the print was below the 4.9% that market analysts had expected and was the lowest reading in five months. Annual average inflation rose from 3.5% in February to 3.7% in March, the highest in almost eight years, since August 2012.
Annual producer prices (PPI), meanwhile, fell 1.5% year-on-year in March. The print exceeded the 0.4% fall in February and was sharper than the 1.1% decrease that market analysts had expected. The decline mostly reflected a sharp drop in prices for extraction of petroleum and natural gas.