News Worms
News Worms


Chinas inflation rises marginally in March food prices remain major drag

Chinas inflation rises marginally in March food prices remain major drag

The rise in March is slightly higher than the 0.8 per cent interannual increase recorded the previous month, when CPI of the world's second largest economy touched a two-year record low.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported that average wages, when the effects of bonuses were excluded, grew by 2.2% in the three months to February.

ONS deputy national statistician Jonathan Athow said: "Food, drink and clothing prices all rose in March".

The ONS data showed food prices rose by an annual 1.2 per cent in March, their biggest increase in three years. "With consumer price inflation holding steady in March, the Bank of England will continue to delay any interest rate rise for as long as possible, leaving the way clear for the property market to continue its slow upward progress.

"This could be partly due to the supermarket price wars in the United Kingdom over this period which resulted in a downward pressure on food prices".

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Centre for Economics and Business Research managing economist Nina Skero said households would increasingly feel the pinch as inflation outpaces wage growth.

"The easing in the rate is mainly due to declines in non food especially for transport and health", he said.

United Kingdom inflation's huge surge since the Brexit referendum paused in March, remaining at the same level seen in February, according to the latest release from the Office for National Statistics on Tuesday.

Overall output prices rose by 3.6 per cent, also a touch weaker than in February but above a forecast of 3.3 per cent in the Reuters poll. Prices increased year-in-year in all sub-categories, the first time all goods and services witnessed inflation since June 2014.

It is also important to note that inflationary pressures have been experienced across the region and have also been attributed to poor performance in the agriculture sector and increase in crude oil prices.

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Economists warned that the squeeze will worsen later this year and could threaten to undermine the economy's robust growth rate.

United Kingdom living standards are under more pressure than at any time in 2 1/2 years and the squeeze is getting tighter.

"Today's figures are a stark reminder of the reality - rising living costs, debts, a sharp decrease in consumer spending and growing risk of stagflation".

The number of unemployed people in Britain stood at 1.56 million, 45,000 fewer than for September to November 2016 and 141,000 fewer than for a year earlier.

"With Brexit uncertainty already priced in, however, we would need to see a catastrophic breakdown in the EU27 trade talks for sterling to fall much further from here", he added.

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