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China's factory deflation deepens as pandemic hits demand (Tuesday, May 12, 2020)

China’s factory prices fell at the sharpest rate in four years in April, highlighting weakening industrial demand in the world’s second-largest economy as the coronavirus pandemic slams global growth.

The producer price index (PPI) fell 3.1% from a year earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics said in a statement on Tuesday, compared with a 2.6% drop tipped by a Reuters poll of analysts and a 1.5% decline in March.

Data released last week showed China’s exports unexpectedly grew in April from a year earlier, although a sharper-than-expected decline in imports signalled weak domestic demand.

China is trying to recover from its first economic contraction on record during the January-March quarter, when the economy was paralysed by curbs to slow the spread of the virus that has killed more than 4,600 people in the mainland. But the spread of the virus beyond China now threatens to push the global economy into a deep recession.