China’s top statistics agency revealed changes to its consumer price basket on Friday [19 February 2016], lowering the weight given to food while increasing that of other goods to reflect new consumption patterns. The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has reduced the weighting of food, tobacco and alcohol in the basket by 3.4 percentage points, according to an article published on the NBS website. Food prices accounted for nearly one-third of China’s consumer price calculation in the past. As an economy grows and incomes rise, food generally accounts for a smaller share in consumer spending…Full Article: ECNS.cn Feb 2016

Key Points

  • China’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) calculation will also now include floricultural products (i.e. flowers), and will change the base year from 2010 to 2015.
  • From 2014 to 2015, Chinese food prices increased 4.1% while non-food prices (e.g. healthcare, clothing, education, and entertainment) increased 1.2%.
  • In 2011, China’s National Bureau of Statistics lowered the CPI contribution of food prices by 2.21%.

ChinaAg Comments

  • Prior to the 2016 change, the price of food comprised roughly one-third of China’s Consumer Price Index (CPI), while pork accounts for nearly 3% of China’s CPI. China’s pork prices generally increase along with the country’s inflation rate. In this past, this “pork price cycle” typically occured every three to four years. Prices also vary according to the time of the year, with prices dipping during fall and winter months.
  • From 2011 to 2013, China’s CPI (2010 as the base year, 2010=100) increased from 105.4 to 111.

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