Shanghai, February 18

China’s consumer inflation quickened in January due to rising food prices while producer prices declined for 47th straight month, as falling commodity prices and weak demand add to deflationary pressure in the world’s second-largest economy.

The consumer price index (CPI) rose 1.8 per cent in January from a year earlier, slightly less than market expectations and up from a 1.6 per cent increase in December, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed today.

The slight increase was mainly due to a 4.1 per cent seasonal rise in food prices before the Lunar New Year celebrations, and did not imply any visible improvement in economic activity and broader consumer demand, analysts said.

Non-food consumer inflation remained mild, with an annual growth rate of 1.2 per cent in January, up only marginally from December. The producer price index (PPI) fell 5.3 per cent in January from a year earlier, slightly less than market expectations of a 5.4 per cent decline and easing from a fall of 5.9 per cent in prior month.

“Overall, China will likely face strong deflationary pressure in remainder of the year,” economists at ANZ said in a research note.