China's higher inflation not big problem: state planner vice-chairman

A customer shops inside a store selling imported goods in Qingdao, Shandong province, China, June 1, 2018. Picture taken June 1, 2018. REUTERS/Stringer

BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s higher inflation this year will not present a big problem, Ning Jizhe, vice-chairman of the National Development Reform Commission (NDRC), said on Monday.

Ning made the remarks on the sidelines of a news conference in Beijing when asked if higher inflation was a worry. Price pressures on some food items due in part to China’s trade dispute with the United States has sparked some concern.

Consumer price inflation was running at 2.1 percent year-on-year in July.

“There are only a few commodities that we have to import from other countries, but there are many places we can source them,” Ning said, stressing that the supply of agricultural and industrial consumer goods was “absolutely sufficient”.

The trade conflict between China and the United States escalated last week as they heaped more tariffs on each other’s goods. Since early July, the world’s two largest economies have imposed tariffs on a combined $100 billion worth of each other’s goods.

Heavy flooding caused by a typhoon and tropical storm this month in the eastern Chinese province of Shandong may increase food inflation. The vegetable producing capital of Shouguang hit hard.

Reporting by Elias Glenn; Writing by Yawen Chen; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore, Robert Birsel