China: Inflation moderates in March
April 11, 2018
Consumer prices dropped 1.1% from the prior month in March, contrasting February’s sharp 1.2% month-on-month rise. The print, which was the largest drop in nearly 15 years, was driven by lower prices for food, transport, and tourism as seasonal effects from the Lunar New Year holidays faded.
Inflation eased from 2.9% in February to 2.1% in March, undershooting market expectations of 2.6%. February’s reading was the highest print in over 4 years. Annual average inflation, meanwhile, inched up from February’s 1.6% to 1.7% in March.
Producer inflation moderated to 3.1% in March from 3.7% in February. The print slightly missed market analysts’ expectations of 3.2% and represented the lowest level since October 2016. The cooling mostly reflected weaker investment growth, particularly in the housing sector.
China Inflation Forecast
FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast participants expect that consumer inflation will average 2.3% in 2018, which is unchanged from last month’s estimate. In 2019, the panel also sees consumer inflation at 2.3%. Meanwhile, the panel expects producer inflation of 3.2% in 2018, which is up 0.1 percentage points from last month’s projection. In 2019, panelists see producer inflation at 2.1%.