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China inflation eases even as global price anxiety grows

Published: February 09, 2018 15:38:34 | Updated: February 11, 2018 12:46:50


The consumer inflation of China eased lowest since July 2017, even as global stock markets nosedive on fears that price pressures are slowly building in the United States and Europe.

The consumer price index (CPI) rose 1.5 per cent from a year earlier, in line with expectations and slowing from December’s gain of 1.8 per cent, the National Bureau of Statistics said.

On a month-on-month basis, CPI rose 0.6 per cent in January as expected, reports Reuters.

The food price index declined 0.5 per cent from a year earlier due to a higher base last year, after falling 0.4 per cent in December. Non-food prices rose 2.0 per cent, compared with 2.4 per cent in December.

China’s government will maintain a 3.0 per cent consumer inflation target for 2018, sources have told Reuters.

That suggests policymakers are not foreseeing any sharp retail price rises that could force the central bank to change course and tighten policy more quickly.

Global stock markets began to tumble last Friday after a healthy US labour market report sparked fears of rising inflation which could trigger more central bank rate hikes.

The producer price index (PPI) rose 4.3 per cent in January from a year earlier, the smallest rise in 14 months and compared with 4.9 per cent in December.

Analysts had expected a reading of 4.4 per cent, citing milder price rises for raw materials and finished goods like steel.

On a monthly basis, the PPI rose 0.3 per cent in January, less than half the pace seen in the previous month.

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