Customers buy groceries at a supermarket in Chongqing, on Dec 2, 2022. （Photo/Xinhua）
China has the confidence, conditions and capabilities to keep overall prices stable in 2023 despite challenges from the high and volatile international commodity prices and imported inflationary pressures, the country's top economic regulator said on Thursday.
Wan Jinsong, director of the National Development and Reform Commission's Department of Price, said China's overall price levels are generally stable as China's full-year consumer inflation rose by 2 percent year-on-year in 2022. While inflation in major advanced economies like the United States, Eurozone and the United Kingdom, as measured by the consumer price index, hit around 8 percent, above 8 percent and around 9 percent respectively.
Looking into 2023, even though China may face challenges and pressures ahead, Wan said the country has solid foundations to keep prices stable with a sufficient supply of important commodities "essential for people's livelihood", a stable energy supply and an improved system for ensuring stable supplies and prices.
Since 2020, local governments have provided a total of around 37.5 billion yuan ($5.6 billion) of price subsidies for those facing multiple difficulties, benefiting 730 million people. In 2022, a total of around 6.5 billion yuan of price subsidies have been offered to 200 million people in need, NDRC data showed.
When it comes to the coming Spring Festival holidays, Niu Yubin, deputy director of the NDRC's Department of Price, said the commission has recently worked with relevant departments to ensure stable supplies and prices during the holiday.
She said the commission will guide localities to closely monitor the price changes in the market, stock up reserves and make contingency plans for the coming holidays and strengthen market supervision.
Considering the sufficient supply and reserves of important livelihood commodities as well as the stable market prices, Niu said China will be able to meet the consumer demand during the holidays.