The producer price index (PPI) for China's industrial products was 10 percent in July over the same period last year, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Monday.
The double-digit growth of PPI, which measures the value of finished products when they leave the factory, was the highest since 1996.
The PPI jumped 8 percent in the first seven months, compared with 7.6 percent in the first half, said the NBS.
The purchaser prices for raw materials, fuel and power rose 15.4 percent in July, compared with 13.5 percent in June.
Zhang Liqun, a researcher with the State Council Development and Research Center, attributed the rise to increasing demands on resources and price hikes for commodities in the international markets.
"In the wake of its economic development and the urbanization drive, China has not only expanded the production, but also increased imports of resources products," said Zhang.
Zhang said imports accounted for 50 percent of China's total crude oil consumption, and iron ore imports more than 50 percent of consumption. The year-on-year 85.8-percent price hike for crude oil and 60-percent price rise for iron ore in the international markets this year inevitably imposed greater pressure on the country's PPI.
The PPI of capital goods rose 11.7 percent, the NBS said in its latest monthly report. The PPI of the mining sector was up 34.1 percent, that of the raw materials sector went up 14.3 percent, and that of the processing sector was up 7.7 percent.
The PPI of crude oil went up 41.2 percent, compared with a 5.3-percent rise in the previous month.
The PPI of consumer goods gained 4.6 percent, and the price index of food rose 9.1 percent, compared with the increase rate of 2.4 percent for garments and 4.3 percent for daily commodities. The PPI of durable consumer goods dropped 0.2 percent in July.
Zhang said the PPI growth would not instantly impose greater pressure on the consumer price index (CPI), a major gauge of inflation, which is scheduled to be released on Tuesday by the NBS.
(Xinhua News Agency August 11, 2008)