China’s inflation accelerated more than forecast in March on a pickup in food prices, signaling that policy makers may exercise caution in adding stimulus to boost growth.
Consumer prices rose 3.6 percent from a year earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics said today. That was more than the median 3.4 percent estimate in a Bloomberg News survey of 33 economists. Food-related costs gained 7.5 percent.
Today’s report showed vegetable prices surged 20.5 percent in March from a year earlier after a 6.5 percent increase in February, while meat and egg prices climbed 11.3 percent last month. The acceleration is “most likely temporary” and the result of bad weather in a couple of vegetable-planting provinces, said Ren Xianfang, a Beijing-based economist with IHS Global Insight.
The People’s Bank of China cut lenders’ reserve requirements effective Feb. 24 for the second time in three months to pump more liquidity into the banking system.