Mainland's deflation pressure continued to ease in December
The mainland's deflation pressure continued to ease in December as its benchmark retail price index fell a year on year 2.7 per cent, compared to a fall of 2.8 per cent in November and 2.9 per cent in October, according to the State Statistical Bureau.
Still, December marked the 15th month the mainland's inflation has been in negative territory, reflecting a sluggish domestic demand. For the whole of 1998, the retail price index fell 2.6 per cent year on year.
As exports and inflow of foreign direct investment are slowing down, Beijing has set as the top national priority for this year efforts to stoke domestic consumption.
However, as Beijing is deepening its reforms on state-owned enterprises, housing and medical care, among other measures, consumers are spending less and saving more for that rainy day.