China's April inflation figure may drop

Updated: 2011-05-09 13:57
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BEIJING - Analysts say China's consumer price index (CPI) in April, to be released Wednesday, may drop from or run parallel to that of March due to the government's monetary tightening efforts.

However, according to Monday's China Securities Journal, the April inflation figure will remain above 5 percent as a marked drop in the industrial value-added and fixed-asset investment is unlikely.

It noted that an obvious drop in vegetable prices and the slowing down of price rise of some other products may impact the CPI for April.

China's CPI, a main gauge of inflation, rose 5.4 percent in March from a year ago driven by food prices and imported inflation while the inflation for the first quarter stood at 5 percent, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

Zhu Jianfang, chief economist with CITIC Securities, said he expected China's CPI in April to jump 5 percent year on year while producer price index (PPI), a main gauge of inflation at the wholesale level, would rise 7.3 percent year on year, the same growth rate with March.

In contrast with CITIC Securities, a report released by Goldman Sachs forecasts April's inflation at 5.1 percent due to rising pork prices.

However, the report gives a lower PPI figure of 7.1 percent for April.

Meanwhile, a China International Capital Co., Ltd (CICC) report says inflation in April will stay high due to rising agricultural products prices and non-food prices.

CICC expects an inflation growth rate of 5.4 percent for April, the same as the previous month.

To mop up excess liquidity and curb inflation, the central bank has raised commercial banks's reserve requirement ratios four times and hiked benchmark interest rates twice since the beginning of this year.

Besides the CPI figure, the NBS will also release data on the industrial value-added, fixed-asset investment and retail sales of consumer goods.

Although the latest PMI figure shows a slight dip in demand, China's economy is still growing strongly, analysts say.

China's manufacturing sector PMI, a key measure for the outlook of industrial growth, dropped to 52.9 percent in April, from 53.4 percent in March.