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China's January inflation slows to 2%

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-02-08 13:56

BEIJING - 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.

China's January inflation slows to 2%

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.

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