Cooling inflation prompts calls for more easing
Consumer inflation came in weaker than expected in October while prices at factory gates fell for a 44th straight month, fuelling calls for more monetary easing and fiscal stimulus to combat deflationary pressures.
The consumer price index (CPI), the main gauge of inflation, grew 1.3 percent year-onyear in October, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said.
The reading, much lower than the market forecast of around 1.5 percent, slowed from the 1.6 percent gain in September and 2 percent in August. On a monthly basis, consumer prices edged down 0.3 percent.
Average CPI inflation in the first 10 months of 2015 came in at 1.4 percent year on year, which is much lower than the government target of around 3 percent.
“The data underscored significant deflationary pressures in China, which allows no delay for further easing policies,” HSBC analyst Qu Hongbin said.
Heavy smog blankets Shenyang, the capital of Liaoning province, on Monday. Severe pollution spread rapidly this week in two other northeastern provinces — Heilongjiang and Jilin. The concentration of PM2.5 — fine particulates that can be hazardous to human health — was as high as 1,400 micrograms per cubic meter at some monitoring sites in Shenyang.