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Consumer Price Index and inflation rate in China - statistics & facts

Inflation denotes the increase of price levels over a certain period of time. The level of inflation is expressed in the inflation rate, which is an important indicator of economic development and is hence closely scrutinized by decision makers in public and private entities. Inflation rates may refer to any kind of prices, but most commonly used are inflation rates related to prices for consumer goods and services, as these prices reflect the cost of living for the average population.

The consumer price index in China

National inflation rates are commonly based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) of the respective country. The CPI is an economic indicator that measures changes over time in the price level of a representative basket of consumer goods and services for a defined population and geographic region. The Chinese Consumer Price Index is calculated by the National Bureau of Statistics of China on a monthly and annual basis. It covers the prices of goods and services of 262 basic divisions grouped into eight categories, which represent the living consumption of urban and rural residents.

Over the last two decades, the inflation rate in China ranged at a low and stable level, averaging 2.2 percent annually. This was the lowest level of inflation of all BRIC countries and differed only moderately from the inflation rates of developed countries. However, since accounting methods vary, the low Chinese inflation figures may not adequately display the rise in cost of living felt by many people living in China’s fast-growing cities and urban areas.

Recent development of consumer prices

When looking at the recent development of consumer prices, inflation has picked up gradually since its low in November 2020, reaching 2.3 percent in November 2021. The price increase was mainly driven by rising costs for fuels and raw materials. However, the upward pressure has diminished somewhat in December 2021 and the annual inflation rate is forecasted to stay at a moderate level of approximately 1.8 percent in 2022. Overall, the current increase of consumer prices in China is still significantly lower than in 2019 and 2020, when the inflation rate reached more than five percent and was driven by high food prices caused by the outbreak of the swine fever.

Interesting statistics

In the following 4 chapters, you will quickly find the 26 most important statistics relating to "Consumer Price Index and inflation rate in China".


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