China: Inflation shoots up in February on seasonal factors
March 9, 2018
In February, consumer prices rose 1.2% from the previous month, sharply up from January’s 0.6% rise. The print reflected much higher prices for food, tobacco and liquors as well as for education and culture.
Inflation jumped from January’s 1.5% to 2.9% in February. The print overshot the 2.5% that market analysts had expected and represented the highest reading since November 2013. Annual average inflation, meanwhile, inched up from January’s 1.5% to 1.6% in February.
February’s astonishing rise in consumer prices reflected a low base in 2017 and strong demand during the Chinese New Year.
Producer inflation fell from 4.3% in January to 3.7% in February. The print was slightly below market analysts’ expectations of 3.8% and represented the lowest level since November 2016. Annual average producer inflation fell from January’s 6.1% to 5.8% in February.
China Inflation Forecast
FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast participants expect that consumer inflation will average 2.2% in 2018, which is unchanged from last month’s estimate. In 2019, the panel sees consumer inflation at 2.3%. Meanwhile, the panel expects producer inflation to be 1.3% in 2018, which is up 0.3 percentage points from last month’s projection. In 2019, panelists see producer inflation at 1.1%.