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Mixed signals in Asia: China’s inflation cools, but producer prices remain subdued


China’s annual inflation rate decreased to 0.2% in June, down from 0.3% in the previous two months, and below market expectations of 0.4%. This slight dip indicates a continued easing of inflationary pressures in the world’s second-largest economy. Additionally, China’s producer prices fell by 0.8% year-on-year in June, aligning with market forecasts. This decline, however, shows an improvement from May’s 1.4% drop, suggesting some stabilization in producer costs.

In Japan, producer prices increased by 2.9% year-on-year in June, up from a revised 2.6% growth in the previous month. This rise is consistent with market estimates, reflecting ongoing cost pressures in the Japanese economy.

India’s Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) financial inclusion index jumped to 64.2 in March 2024, up from 60.1 a year prior. This rise across all parameters indicates progress in making financial services accessible to a wider population.
However, challenges likely remain, as evidenced by RBI MPC member Ashima Goyal’s call for improved farm productivity and supply chains to combat food price volatility. The RBI’s variable rate repo auction on July 9, 2024, received bids worth Rs 21,310 crore, falling short of the notified amount of Rs 25,000 crore. This suggests the central bank is carefully managing liquidity in the Indian financial system.

Key highlights

  • China’s inflation down to 0.2% in June, missing estimates of 0.4%
  • China’s producer prices fell by 0.8% y-o-y in June, improving from a 1.4% decline in May
  • Japan’s producer prices increased by 2.9% y-o-y in June, consistent with market expectations
  • India’s FI index rose to 64.2 in March 2024 from 60.1 in March 2023
  • Emphasis on improving farm productivity and supply chains; received Rs 21,310 crore bids at VRR auction against a notified amount of Rs 25,000 crore

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