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China’s economic system has fallen into deflation as shopper costs contracted for the primary time in additional than two years, in one of many starkest indicators of the challenges going through policymakers as they battle to revive consumption.
The patron worth index fell 0.3 per cent yr on yr in July, in contrast with no change a month earlier. The producer worth index, a gauge of costs as items depart manufacturing unit gates, was down 4.4 per cent in July.
Client costs, which final slipped into unfavorable territory in February 2021, have been on the brink of deflation for months as China’s financial momentum didn’t rebound as strongly as anticipated after authorities lifted pandemic restrictions at the start of the yr.
The transfer into deflation is about to fuel calls for more government stimulus at a time when policymakers are additionally confronting a property sector slowdown and weak point in commerce.
Knowledge launched on Tuesday confirmed July exports slumped 14.5 per cent yr on yr, the steepest fall because the begin of the pandemic.
“The Chinese economy is now at severe danger of sliding right into a deflationary episode that might spark a self-reinforcing downward spiral in development and personal sector confidence,” mentioned Eswar Prasad, a China finance skilled at Cornell College.
The Chinese language authorities has focused a median inflation charge of three per cent over the course of 2023, highlighting the rising divergence between official expectations and the truth on the bottom.