BEIJING, Feb. 8 (Xinhua)-- China's annual consumer inflation eased from December's seven-month high in January despite rising food prices, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed Friday.
The consumer price index (CPI), a main gauge of inflation, grew 2 percent year on year in January, according to the NBS.
On a month-on-month basis, January's CPI rose 1 percent from the previous month, according to the NBS statement.
The month-on-month growth rate marked an 11-month high, as a cold winter and holiday demand have significantly pushed up vegetable and meat prices, said Yu Qiumei, a senior statistician with the bureau.
China is experiencing a unusually cold winter. Persistent icy weather in south China and lingering smog in north China have disrupted traffic and affected agricultural production, Yu said.
Food prices, which account for one-third of the prices used to calculate the CPI, rose 2.9 percent in January from one year earlier, pushing the index up 0.95 percentage points, according to the NBS.
However, January's CPI data was benign year-on-year partly because of the base effect. The year-ago comparison figure was high, as the Spring Festival holiday fell in January last year and pushed up food prices for that month.
The base effect contributed 1 percentage point to January's CPI growth year on year, the NBS said.
However, analysts say price pressure will build in the coming months.
The downward trend in January will be temporary. The country's inflation will pick up steam in February, with the growth rate accelerating to 2.7 to 2.9 percent, the China International Capital Corporation (CICC) said in a report.
The company's view was backed by Tang Jianwei, senior analyst at the financial research center under the Bank of Communications.
China's inflation will enter a preliminary upward phase in 2013, Tang said.
The country's economy has been steadily recovering and resurgent demand will drive up prices. Pork prices, which have a significant influence on the CPI, will regain momentum in 2013, he said.
Monetary quantitative easing implemented in the United States, Europe and Japan, together with China's rising labor and land costs, will all affect the country's inflation this year, Tang added.
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The recovery in the economy and in demand may translate into consumer price movements very quickly and "particular attention needs to be paid to the effect of changing expectations on future prices," the People's Bank of China (PBOC) said in its quarterly monetary policy report. Full story
BEIJING, Feb. 8 (Xinhua) -- China's foreign trade surged 26.7 percent year on year in January to 2.17 trillion yuan (345.59 billion U.S. dollars), the General Administration of Customs (GAC) said Friday.
The rise was bigger than the 10.2-percent growth seen in December. Full story
BEIJING, Feb. 8 (Xinhua) -- China's producer price index (PPI), which measures inflation at the wholesale level, fell 1.6 percent year on year in January, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Friday.
The drop marked the 11th straight month of declines after the PPI dropped in March 2012 for the first time since December 2009. Full story
BEIJING, Jan. 26 (Xinhua) -- China's economy will expand at 8.4 percent this year, up from the 7.8-percent growth rate of 2012, a research institute under the country's top science academy has predicted.
China, the world's second-largest economy, will see a mild pick-up in 2013 amid sluggish external demand, according to a report released on Saturday by the Center for Forecasting Science under the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Full atory