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China's Feb inflation rebounds to 10-month high

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-03-09 09:47

China's Feb inflation rebounds to 10-month high

BEIJING--Due to rising food prices during the Spring Festival season, China's annual consumer inflation rebounded to a 10-month high of 3.2 percent in February, according to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Saturday.

On a month-on-month basis, February's consumer price index (CPI) gained 1.1 percent from the previous month, according to an NBS statement.

Food prices, which account for nearly one-third of the weighting in China's CPI, remained a key driver of inflation in February, as the Spring Festival season, which fell within that month, pushed up demand.

The statement said food prices jumped 6 percent last month from the same period last year, pushing the CPI up by 1.98 percentage points.

Taking the holiday effect and the increase in fuel prices in February into account, the rebound is largely in line with market expectations.

Yu Qiumei, a senior statistician with the bureau, forecast that CPI growth will ease this month as the holiday effect fades and warmer weather starts to bolster food supplies.

But inflationary pressures will remain in the long term as China's economic recovery gains traction, analysts said.

In Tuesday's government report, Premier Wen Jiabao said China aims to hold this year's consumer price growth at around 3.5 percent, lower than the 4-percent target for 2012 but higher than last year's actual inflation rate of 2.6 percent.

Wen named upward pressures on the prices of land, labor, agricultural products and services, as well as imported inflationary pressure, as challenges in achieving that goal.

Saturday's data show that housing rents went up 2.7 percent year on year in February, and on a month-on-month basis, costs have climbed 0.5 percent, the highest monthly gain since July last year.

Wang Yuwen, a researcher with Bank of Communications, warned that China's new property curbs, which impose a capital gains tax of 20 percent on home transactions, may further drive up housing costs this year.

 

PPI down 1.6% in Feb

China's producer price index, which measures inflation at the wholesale level, fell 1.6 percent year-on-year in February, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Saturday.

Fixed-asset investment up 21.2% in Jan-Feb

China's fixed asset investment rose 21.2 percent year-on-year in the first two months, down 0.3 percentage point from the same period last year, the National Bureau of Statistics said Saturday.

Industrial output up 9.9% in Jan-Feb

China's industrial value-added output rose 9.9 percent year-on-year in the first two months, down 1.5 percentage points from the same period last year, the National Bureau of Statistics said Saturday.

Retail sales up 12.3% during Jan-Feb

China's retail sales grew 12.3 percent year-on-year to 3.78 trillion yuan ($602.1 billion) in the first two months of the year, the National Bureau of Statistics said Saturday.

Property investment up 22.8% in Jan-Feb

Investment in China's property sector rose 22.8 percent year-on-year to 667 billion yuan ($106.2 billion) in the first two months of the year, the National Bureau of Statistics announced Saturday.

China Economy by Numbers - Jan

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