People select fruit in a supermarket in Shanghai, east China, Dec. 8, 2013. China's consumer price index (CPI), a main gauge of inflation, grew 3 percent year on year in November, down from the 3.2 percent recorded in October, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Monday. (Xinhua/Yang Shichao)
BEIJING, Dec. 9 (Xinhua) -- China's consumer price index (CPI), a main gauge of inflation, grew 3 percent year on year in November, down from the 3.2 percent recorded in October, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Monday.
Inflation rose 3 percent in cities, and 3.1 percent in rural areas. Food prices rose 5.9 percent over a year ago, while prices of non-food products edged up 1.6 percent, according to the NBS.
On a month-to-month basis, November CPI contracted 0.1 percent from the previous month. Food prices dropped 0.2 percent from October. Prices of non-food products remained flat against the previous month.
In the first 11 months of 2013, China's CPI rose 2.6 percent year on year, well below the government's full-year target of 3.5 percent.
The NBS data also showed China's producer price index, which measures inflation at the wholesale level, contracted 1.4 percent year on year in November, following a 1.5-percent drop in October.
Yu Qiumei, a senior statistician with the NBS, said prices in the food category, which accounts for roughly one-third in the weighting of China's CPI calculation, edged down slightly as a whole in November.
Prices of grain, beef, mutton, milk and fruit rose month on month, but prices of pork, fresh vegetables, eggs and aquatic products contracted from the previous month.
November's vegetable prices registered a 3.8-percent contraction from October, but Yu stressed the differences in vegetable prices among various regions. The northeast and northwest of China saw vegetable prices rise month on month due to snow and low temperatures, while vegetable prices fell in most of China.
The moderation in year-on-year CPI inflation in November was due to lower food inflation, according to a research note by Zhi Xiaojia and Lu Ting, China economists with Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
Food inflation fell to 5.9 percent year on year from 6.5 percent in October. Vegetable price inflation dropped to 22.3 percent year on year from October's 31.5 percent and contributed 59 basis points to the 3.0 percent CPI.
Vegetable and pork prices dropped 3.8 percent and 0.5 percent in November respectively.
Zhang Liqun, a researcher with the Development Research Center of the State Council, China's cabinet, said overall prices for November were stable and factors favorable to stable food prices are increasing.
Seasonal factors behind price fluctuations of fresh vegetables are decreasing and CPI inflation could ease further, he said.
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