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Coronavirus wreaks havoc on Chinese food producers, sending inflation soaring

Posted On: Feb 15, 2020   |   Posted By: Fortune

Coronavirus wreaks havoc on Chinese food producers, sending inflation soaring

The coronavirus outbreak-now officially called COVID19, according to the World Health Organization-has driven many things in China down. With close to than 43,000 in the country infected and more than a thousand dead, factory output, consumer spending, tourism, and commodity prices have seen major drops.
One thing that is soaring? Inflation. China's overall consumer price index , which had been at 1.5% in January 2017 and between 2% and 3% during most of 2019, leaped to 5.4% in January 2020.
Shuttered facilities and involuntarily idled workers have reduced production and tightened product supplies, driving up prices. Hardest hit is the food sector, which already faced massive shortages. The deadly African swine fever took out somewhere between a quarter to half of the nation's pigs-a staple in Chinese diets-depending on whom you ask.
China's overall inflation rate still isn't huge. But the quick increase is a concern. If the pattern doesn't moderate, the country might be forced to focus less on growth-a...

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