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China Jan. CPI Rises 2%, Matching Economists’ Estimates

China Jan. CPI Rises 2%, Matching Economists’ Estimates
A man takes a photograph of commercial buildings at dusk in the Pudong area of Shanghai. Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/BloombergPhotographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg

China’s consumer prices rose 2 percent in January from a year earlier while the producer-price index dropped 1.6 percent, the National Bureau of Statistics said today in Beijing.

Inflation compares with the 2 percent median estimate of 35 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News and a 2.5 percent pace in December. Analysts forecast a 1.6 percent decline in producer prices after a 1.9 percent drop the previous month.

The pace of price gains in each of the first two months of the year is distorted by the timing of the Lunar New Year holiday, which falls in February this year and was in January last year. Hao Hong, managing director for research at the securities unit of Bank of Communications Co., said this week that “the last thing you want to do is compare this January with last January” in China’s data.

China’s central bank signaled concern that inflation risks will increase and that the government must be alert to changes in price-gain expectations and increases in import costs.

“An economic recovery and demand expansion may pass into CPI in a relatively fast manner,” the People’s Bank of China said in a quarterly monetary policy report released Feb. 6.

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