Soaring pork prices that nearly doubled in December kept China’s inflation at a seven-year high despite government efforts to ease meat shortages caused by a disease outbreak. Surging inflation adds to challenges for communist leaders who are trying to reverse a slowdown in economic growth and resolve a tariff war with Washington. Government data showed pork prices rose 97% over a year earlier despite increased imports of China’s staple meat and the release of supplies from stockpiles. Food costs rose 17.4% and overall consumer inflation was 4.5%, well above the ruling Communist Party’s 3% official target. Pork supplies have plunged after authorities destroyed animals and blocked shipments to stop an outbreak of African swine fever.


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