BEIJING - China's producer price index (PPI), a major measure of inflation at the wholesale level, rose 7.2 percent in February from a year earlier, the highest level since October 2008, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) announced Friday.
The February PPI was 0.8 percent higher month-on-month, while the year-on-year growth was 0.6 percentage points higher than the January level, said Sheng Laiyun, a spokesman with the NBS at a press conference.
For the first two months of this year, the PPI climbed 6.9 percent year-on-year, said Sheng.
The NBS also announced the consumer price index, a main gauge of inflation, rose 4.9 percent year-on-year in February.
Analysts said the surge in producer prices had exceeded market expectations, which were around 7 percent, and could cause worries of further government tightenings.
Zuo Xiaolei, chief economist of China Galaxy Securities, said the rising commodity prices and raw material costs had lead to the PPI surge, which would in turn push up consumer prices.
China is facing imported inflation pressure from higher global commodity prices, including crude oil, metallic ores, and even food, Sheng said.
In February, the PPI climbed 10.4 percent year-on-year, with purchase prices of non-ferrous metal, fuel and ferrous metal up 14.8 percent, 8.9 percent and 15.8 percent from a year ago, according to the NBS.