Chinese officials say inflation in China is at its highest level since 1996, at 8.7 percent. The level is worrisome, but even more disconcerting is a 23.3 percent jump in food prices last month, which caused the overall increase.
The country’s statistic bureau says pork prices are up more than 63 percent, compared with this time last year. Fresh vegetables are up 46 percent and cooking oil is up 41 percent.
Prices have been rising steadily for months, pushed by rising demand and shortages of pork and grain. Then, severe winter storms this year in much of the country crippled the transport system and contributed to the sharp rise in February.