China's CPI up 1.9% in December

China's consumer price index, a main gauge of inflation, rose 1.9 percent year on year in December, down from 2.2 percent for November.

A woman chooses vegetables in a supermarket in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, on November 7, 2018.

China's consumer price index, a main gauge of inflation, rose 1.9 percent year-on-year in December, down from 2.2 percent for November, the National Bureau of Statistics said Thursday.

The increase was the lowest since June 2018.

Food prices rose 2.5 percent year-on-year, contributing 0.48 percentage points to overall CPI growth, the bureau said.

Prices for medical products and services rose 2.5 percent year on year, educational, cultural and entertainment prices rose 2.3 percent, while housing-related prices rose 2.2 percent.

Oil prices eased in December. Prices for gasoline and diesel dipped 0.5 percent and 0.3 percent year on year, respectively, compared with the 12.8-percent and 14.2-percent gains in November 2018.

On a month-on-month basis, the December CPI remained unchanged from the previous month.

Thursday's data also showed China's CPI for 2018 rose 2.1 percent year on year, up from 1.6 percent for 2017. It exceeded 2 percent for the first time in the past four years.

The annual figure is well below the government's target to keep the CPI increase at around 3 percent in 2018.

It is estimated that factors including the prevention and control of African swine fever, policies to facilitate domestic consumption and the new individual income tax measures will have effects on the annual CPI this year, according to the Development Research Center of the State Council.

The annual CPI for 2019 is expected to stand at around 2.2 percent year on year, the center said.

Special Reports