China March consumer inflation steady at 1.4%: govt

A clothes vendor looks on as she waits for customers in Beijing on March 13, 2015Chinese inflation held steady at 1.4 percent in March, the government said Friday, leaving policymakers further room for monetary stimulus as they try to manage a broad slowdown in the world’s second-biggest economy. The consumer price index (CPI) reading from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) was the same as February, when it rose from January’s more than five-year low and slightly better than the median 1.3 percent forecast in a survey of 39 economists by Bloomberg News. Economists have previously expressed concerns about the risk of deflation in China, especially after January’s slump in consumer inflation to 0.8 percent, the lowest since November 2009. “Consumer price inflation held steady in March but we expect a drop in food price inflation to pull it lower over the coming months,” Julian Evans-Pritchard, China economist at Capital Economics, wrote in a reaction to the data.

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