Workers check rolls of sheet aluminum at a factory in Wuhan, China.

STR | AFP | Getty Images

BEIJING — China’s producer price index rose 9% in May from a year ago as commodity prices surged, the National Bureau of Statistics said Wednesday.

That marked the fastest increase in production costs since September 2008, when the index rose 9.13%, according to Wind Information.

While the gains surpassed expectations of an 8.5% increase, according to a Reuters poll, the rise does come off a low base. The index fell 3.7% in May 2020 during the initial months of the coronavirus pandemic.

Rising raw material prices are a particular concern for companies in the building materials business, as well as iron and steel, said Gan Jie, a professor of finance and academic director for MBA programs at the Beijing-based Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business.

“These companies are more pessimistic. They see a very sharp rise in costs, and they think it’s…

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