BEIJING, Oct. 15 (UPI) -- China reported Monday inflation in September grew 1.9 percent year-on-year, down from 2 percent in August, mainly due to falling agriculture produce prices.
The National Bureau of Statistics said along with September's consumer price index, which is China's main gauge of inflation, the producer price index, which measures inflation at the wholesale level, dropped 3.6 percent year on year in September from a 3.5 percent decline in August, the seventh straight month of such decline, Xinhua News Agency reported.
Food prices in September rose 2.5 percent year-on-year, down from 3.4 percent growth in August, the state-run news agency said.
The CPI in the first nine months of this year grew 2.8 percent year-on-year, down from a 3.3 percent rise in the first half of this year.
Xinhua quoted analysts as saying the latest numbers show the country is expected to keep inflation under 4 percent for the whole year.
The Financial Times reported the easing of the CPI in September could give the government more room to loosen monetary policy as the economy slows.
China's second-quarter growth was the lowest in three years as demand for its exports slows.
"Today's inflation data, together with some forward-looking activity data, suggest the slack in the economy remains large," Liu Ligang of ANZ told the British business newspaper.
Lu Ting of Bank of America Merrill Lynch said: "Muted inflation pressure will provide more room for the government to introduce additional policy easing and stimulus measures."
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