China inflation at 8-month high of 3.2 per cent

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 09 November, 2013, 12:24pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 09 November, 2013, 12:24pm

China’s inflation rose to an eight-month high in October as a surge in vegetable prices pushed up politically sensitive food costs.

Prices rose 3.2 per cent, accelerating from September’s 3.1 per cent, data showed Saturday. Food prices rose 6.5 per cent, propelled by a 31.5 per cent jump in the cost of fresh vegetables.

Inflation still is below the Communist Party’s 3.5 per cent target for the year. But rising prices could make it harder to keep an economic recovery on track with interest rate cuts or higher government spending.

Inflation is politically volatile in China because it erodes economic gains that underpin the ruling party’s claim to power. Some poor families spend up to half their incomes on food.

China’s economic growth hit a two-decade low of 7.5 per cent in the three months ending in June. It rebounded to 7.8 per cent in the latest quarter but analysts say that strength is unlikely to last.

China’s exports rebounded to relatively strong growth in October, rising 5.6 per cent over a year earlier. That came after September’s unexpected and rare decline of 0.3 per cent.