The producer price index (PPI) for China's industrial products rose 8.2 percent in May over the same month last year, the National Bureau of Statistics said Wednesday.
The PPI, which measures the value of finished products when they leave the factory, is 0.1 of a percentage point higher than May's 8.1 percent.
The factory-gate prices of raw materials, fuel and power were up 11.8 percent, also 0.1 of a percentage point higher than the previous month.
Experts said higher ex-factory prices could lead to a rising CPI, as producers might seek to pass on their rising costs to consumers.
China's CPI, a key measure of inflation, was up 8.5 percent in April, following an 8.3-percent rise in March and 8.7 percent in February, according to the NBS.
China has set an annual CPI target of 4.8 percent this year.
Factory-gate prices of crude oil surged 30.9 percent in May over the same period last year, while gasoline was up 11.0 percent, diesel 11.8 percent and kerosene 11.4 percent.
The producer prices of raw coal jumped 24.1 percent and those of steel products rose between 26.7 percent and 43.8 percent.
The purchasing prices, or costs, of fuel and power rose 21 percent, ferrous metals 22.1 percent, non-ferrous metals 3.4 percent and chemical raw materials 6.2 percent.
The PPI for manufactured goods was up 7.4 percent in the first five months of this year, while the costs of raw materials, fuel and power rose 10.6 percent.
The price index of food, a major component of the consumer price index (CPI), was up 11 percent, exceeding that for garments (2.4 percent) and daily commodities (3.9 percent). The prices of consumer durables were down 0.5 percent, said the NBS.
(Xinhua News Agency June 11, 2008)