Consumer inflation in China decelerated in June as food prices increased at a slower pace, giving the central bank more leeway to ease monetary policy in the world’s second-largest economy. The National Bureau of Statistics reported Sunday that China’s Consumer Price Index rose 1.9% in June from a year earlier, a little less than May’s 2.0% increase. The key inflation reading slightly exceeded a median 1.8% gain forecast by 15 economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal. China’s Producer Price Index declined 2.6% year-over-year in June, which was a little weaker than expected, compared with a 2.8% drop in May. The index has lingered in deflationary territory for more than four years, although it has decelerated less rapidly in recent months.
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