China January consumer prices likely to rise modestly

China January consumer prices likely to rise modestly

The benchmark consumer-price index rose 3.17% from a year earlier, slower than December's 3.41% increase, government data showed Monday.

Factory gate prices charged by manufacturers are also climbing, with the annual gain likely to be over 3 per cent, economists said.

Rural areas witnessed a slightly higher inflation rate at 3.4%, while in urban areas it was 2.9%.

Because of the warm weather, vegetable prices remained largely stable last month.

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'Inflation is on an upward path that should see it breach the [BoE] Monetary Policy Committee's 2 per cent target in the next month or so and reach close to 3 per cent by the end of this year, ' consultancy Capital Economics said.

Edible oils and fats prices increased by 3.12 per cent, whereas those for sugar and confectionery edged up by 18.69 per cent on a YoY basis.

Overall, Consumer Food Price Index was down at 0.53% in January as against 1.37% in December.

Inflation in the fuel and light segment slowed to 3.4% in January from 3.7%, while the housing segment saw inflation quicken marginally to 5.02% from 4.98% over the same period.

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Discretionary spending on goods and services in the retail inflation index excluding food and fuel, which constitute 16 percent of the CPI basket, appear to have been worst affected by restricted access to cash.

Data released by Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation revealed that consumer food price inflation eased to 0.53 per cent in January 2017 as against 6.85 per cent a year ago.

The monetary policy panel had projected inflation in the range of 4-4.5% in the first half of the financial year and in the range of 4.5-5% in the second half with risks evenly balanced around this projected path. "Higher global commodity prices will get ingrained in these components while food items will be unaffected".

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