The increase was a sign that the government has had only partial success in keeping the surge in commodity prices from spilling over from production into the consumer market. While consumer price growth remained relatively mild, the producer price index (PPI) soared 9 percent in May after climbing 6.8 percent in April. The May mark was the highest monthly jump in factory gate prices since September 2008, reflecting a run-up in costs for commodities including oil, iron ore, copper and coal, the NBS said.
The bureau sought to downplay the PPI increase, arguing that one-third of the May rise was due to a "carryover effect" from April's results, so that only 6 percentage points of the May figure was actually "new." But the month-to-month gain in the PPI more than doubled in May from April to 1.6 percent, suggesting continued pressure from commodity costs.