China Inflation February 2016


China: Upward trend in inflation remains intact in February

March 10, 2016

In February, consumer prices were up 1.6% over the previous month, which was well above the 0.5% increase tallied in the previous month. The reading, which marked an eight-year high, mainly reflected much higher food prices due to the Chinese New Year festivities. Excluding food, prices went up a softer 0.3% on a monthly basis.

Inflation rose from January’s 1.8% to 2.3% in February, which represented the highest reading since July 2014. The print overshot the 1.9% that market analysts had expected. The trend continued to point upward in February, with annual average inflation inching up from last month’s 1.5% to 1.6%.

Meanwhile, the producer price index fell 4.9% in February over the same month last year, which was above January’s 5.3% decline. The print was in line with market expectations and represented an eight-month high. The annual average variation of the producer price index stabilized at January’s minus 5.3% in February, which still represented the lowest value since December 2009.

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast participants expect that inflation will average 1.6% in 2016, which is unchanged from last month’s estimate. In 2017, the panel sees inflation edging up to 1.8%. Meanwhile, the panel expects producer prices to decline 3.7% in 2016, which is unchanged from last month’s projection. In 2017, panelists see producer prices falling 1.9%.

Author: Ricard Torné, Lead Economist

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China Inflation Chart

China Inflation February 2016

Note: Year-on-year and annual average variation of consumer price index in %.
Source: National Bureau of Statistics of China (NBS).

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