China factory prices fall more slowly in Aug

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    BEIJING- China’s factory gate prices fell for the seventh straight month in August but at the slowest annual pace since March, suggesting the industries of the world’s No. 2 economy continued to recover from the sharp coronavirus-induced downturn.

    The producer price index (PPI) eased 2.0 percent from a year earlier in August, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Wednesday. That was in line with expectations in a Reuters poll, but the decline was more modest than the 2.4 percent fall in July.

    The consumer price index meanwhile rose 2.4 percent last month from a year earlier, as expected, slower than a 2.7 percent annual increase in July.

    China’s economy returned to growth in the second quarter after a massive coronavirus-induced contraction at the start of the year. Recent indicators, including exports data and the PMI surveys, have pointed to a sustained recovery in economic activity and manufacturing.

    “In August, industrial production continued to improve while market demand kept recovering,” said Dong Lijuan, senior statistician with the NBS, in a statement accompanying the data release.

    “Prices for global commodities such as crude oil, iron ore and non-ferrous metals continued to rise, driving a rebound in domestic factory-gate prices.”

    PPI rose 0.3 percent in August on a monthly basis.