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Financial News: China Inflation Remains Negative For Fourth Straight Month

China Inflation Remains Negative For Fourth Straight Month

02/08/2024 - 03:52:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - China consumer prices declined for the fourth straight month in January to mark the biggest fall since the 2008-09 global financial crisis and furthermore, producer price inflation remained persistently negative, adding to risks of deflation.

Consumer prices declined 0.8 percent on a yearly basis in January, which was steeper than December's 0.3 percent decrease. Prices were forecast to drop 0.5 percent.

Headline inflation has remained negative for the fourth straight month and also hit the lowest since September 2009.

The NBS said the year-on-year fall in consumer prices was the result of high base of comparison as the Spring Festival holiday was in January last year.

Consumer prices declined notably in January as food prices slid 5.9 percent. Pork prices plunged 17.3 percent, fresh vegetables by 12.7 percent and fruit prices eased 9.1 percent.

At the same time, non-food inflation was just 0.4 percent.

Month-on-month, the consumer price index, or CPI, rose 0.3 percent, following a 0.1 percent gain. Economists had forecast consumer prices to climb 0.4 percent.

ING economist Lynn Song said the current rate marks the bottom of the cycle. The economist said the deflation argument is overstated and January's data was worsened by the base effects.

The slowdown in food price deflation is set to lift consumer price inflation into positive territory in the coming months, economists at Capital Economics said.

That said, inflation is likely to stay low, with CPI inflation to average only 0.5 percent in 2024, up from 0.2 percent in 2023, they added.

Another data from the NBS showed that the decline in producer prices slowed to 2.5 percent in January from 2.7 percent a month ago. Prices were seen easing 2.6 percent.

Pipeline inflation has been negative for 16 consecutive months.

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