BEIJING–China’s producer-price index, a gauge of factory-gate prices, fell deeper into deflation in April as manufacturers continued to suffer from the coronavirus pandemic shocks that crimped demand at home and abroad.
The index dropped 3.1% from a year earlier, compared with a 1.5% fall in March, said the National Bureau of Statistics on Tuesday. Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal had expected a 2.5% drop.
The year-on-year decline in PPI was the biggest in four years, as prices of commodities and other industrial products softened amid weakening demand triggered by the pandemic. The steeper deflation in factory-gate prices is expected to further weigh on Chinese factories’ profitability, which fell 36.7% from a year earlier in the January-March period.
Meanwhile, China’s consumer inflation eased to 3.3% in April, retreating from 4.3% in March, thanks to moderating food and nonfood prices.
Food prices rose 14.8% in April, easing from an 18.3% increase in March, while nonfood prices increased 0.4%, compared with a 0.7% growth in March.
Pork inflation in China was 96.9% in April, slowing from 116.4% in March.