Mubasher: Chinese consumer price inflation lost steam in December 2018, in an indication to faltering demand in the middle of an economic slowdown.
The consumer price index (CPI) rose 1.9% year-on-year last December, against a 2.2% gain in November, data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Thursday showed.
The latest reading marked the slowest annual inflation rate seen in six months.
Non-food prices rose 1.7% on year last month, compared with a 2.1% increase in the prior month.
Declines of 0.5% and 0.3% of gasoline and diesel prices, respectively, dragged non-food price inflation down.
Food prices climbed 2.5% last December from a year ago, unchanged from the previous month.
CPI rose 2.1% over 2018, after seeing a 1.6% in the preceding year, while the Chinese government target consumer inflation under about 3% for the past year.
On a monthly basis, the index inched up 0.3% last month.
In addition, the producer price index (PPI) rose 0.9% during the month, compared with a 2.7% on-year rise in the prior month, the NBS said.
This was the slowest reading for factory-gate prices since September 2016, when they ticked up 0.1% year-on-year.
Oil and natural gas price inflation rose 4.5% during the last month, compared with a 24.4% surge in the previous month.
The PPI fell 1% month-on-month during last December, while over the last year the index climbed 3.5%, after surging 6.3% in the previous year.
By 9:11 am GMT, the Chinese yuan (CNY) rose 0.46% against the US dollar to CNY 6.7823.