China’s consumer-price index (CPI) grew only 1.6% in September year-on-year, its slowest pace since reaching only 1.5% in January 2010, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing figures from the National Bureau of Statistics. The figures reflect sluggish demand conditions, economists said, as well as the effects of higher farm yields and declining oil prices. China’s producer price index – a gauge of prices at the factory gate – continued a 2 1/2-year decline, an indication of manufacturing overcapacity. Muted price pressure gives Chinese policy makers more leeway to stimulate the economy without worrying about inflation as they search for sources of growth, though Beijing has signaled reluctance to use broader measures that might further fuel overcapacity.
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