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China's January CPI rise accelerates to 4.5%

(Xinhua)

10:12, February 09, 2012

A citizen buys pork at a farming produce market in Changchun, capital of northeast China's Jilin Province, Feb. 9, 2012. China's consumer price index (CPI), a main gauge of inflation, rose 4.5 percent year-on-year in January, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Thursday. (Xinhua/Zhang Nan)

BEIJING, Feb. 9 (Xinhua) -- China's consumer price index (CPI), a main gauge of inflation, rose 4.5 percent year-on-year in January, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Thursday.

The growth rate was the highest in three months, accelerating from 4.1 percent in December and 4.2 percent in November.

Although the unexpected rebound severed a months-long decline from a 37-month high of 6.5 percent in July, it will not change the CPI's downward trend for the whole year, analysts said.

The CPI increase, which was mainly boosted by food price surges in January amid the traditional Chinese Lunar New Year holiday, will see a remarkable pull-back in February, said Lian Ping, chief economist at the Bank of Communications.

Li Huiyong, chief analyst of Shenyin & Wanguo Securities, expected the country's CPI annual increase to ease to 3 to 3.5 percent in February.

Food prices, which account for nearly one-third of the basket of goods in the nation's CPI calculation, climbed 10.5 percent in January from one year earlier and contributed to 3.29 percentage points in January's CPI rise. The increase accelerated sharply from December's 9.1-percent rise.

Prices of pork, China's staple meat, soared 25 percent year-on-year in January, while grain prices jumped 6.1 percent from one year earlier.

On a monthly basis, the country's CPI increased 1.5 percent in January, the NBS said.

Despite the CPI rebound, the country's producer price index (PPI), a main gauge of inflation at the wholesale level, edged up 0.7 percent in January year-on-year, which was down from 1.7 percent in December and was the lowest since December 2009.

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