China's CPI at three-month high
Updated: 2012-02-09 10:20
By Chen Jia (chinadaily.com.cn)
BEIJING – China's consumer prices rose to a three-month high of 4.5 percent in January, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) released on its website on Thursday. The figure is 0.4 percentage points higher than December's growth and increased faster than the prediction of a 4.2 percent growth.
Food prices jumped 10.5 percent year-on-year, driving the CPI up to 3.29 percentage points, the NBS showed.
The surge is mainly boosted by consumption before Chinese Lunar New Year holidays, said Peng Wensheng, the chief economist with China International Capital Corporation. "But the inflation pressure is expected to ease this year, with an annual Consumer Price Index (CPI) forecast of 3.5 percent."
The government may have more space to loosen monetary policies and make supporting economic growth a priority, analysts said.
The nation's whole-year consumer prices increase from 2010 to 2011 was 5.4 percent. It was the first rise after the CPI figure dropped for five consecutive months since August 2011, after it hit a 37-month high of 6.5 percent in July.
The NBS also released the year-on-year Producer Price Index of 0.7 percent in January, compared with 1.7 percent in December 2011.