This week the Yunnan Bureau of Statistics (YBS) released economic data for the province for the period from January to July of this year. One of the more significant statistical trends can be found within Yunnan's consumer price index (CPI) - a statistic based upon a basket of common consumer goods that is used to illustrate trends in the cost of everyday living.
Yunnan's CPI for the first seven months of this year grew 5.7 percent on the same period in 2006, one-tenth of a percentage point higher than the national average. Yunnan's rural areas experienced slightly higher CPI growth at 5.8 percent year-on-year.
Food items experienced some of the higher price increases, with pork prices in the first seven months of this year jumping 53.2 percent over the same period last year. According to YBS statistics, average food prices in Yunnan in July of this year were 13. 4 percent higher than July 2006. In comparing July 2007 prices with July 2006 prices, grain prices are up 5.6 percent, fresh eggs are up 23.5 percent, fresh vegetables up 22.9 percent and food oils up 33.4 percent.
In addition to higher prices at the market, restaurants in Kunming and throughout the province have begun raising prices or are preparing to raise prices. According to one Kunming restaurant owner: "We can only absorb so much in terms of food price increases before we have to start raising our prices... our restaurant and most others are likely going to raise prices in the coming weeks."