China: Inflation slows at the start of 2013
February 8, 2013
In January, consumer prices increased 2.0% over the same month last year. The print was down from the 2.5% rise observed in December, which had marked the highest inflation rate since May 2012, but came in line with market expectations. Chinese inflation figures for the first two months of the year are usually distorted by the Lunar New Year holiday, which falls in February this year compared to January in 2012. That said, food prices continue to rise owing to the coldest winter in decades.
Building on the mild price increase, inflation maintained the downward trend in place since February 2012, with annual average inflation edging down from 2.6% in December 2012 to 2.4% in January.
Meanwhile, in January, the producer price index fell 1.6% over the same month last year. The print followed the 1.9% drop observed in December but matched market expectations. Despite the softer decline, the annual average variation of the producer price index fell further from minus 1.7% in December to minus 1.9% in January.