The price of goods at the factory gate rose in China for the first time in more than four years in September, officials said today, in a positive sign for demand in the world's second-largest economy.
The producer price index (PPI) rose 0.1 per cent year-on-year in the month, according to the National Bureau of Statistics, adding it "ended 54 consecutive months of year-on-year falls".
Chinese firms have for years been battered by falling prices for their goods in the face of chronic overcapacity and weak demand, putting a damper on growth in a key driver of the world economy.
Protracted drops in PPI bode ill for industrial prospects and economic growth, as they put off customers -- who seek to delay purchases in anticipation of cheaper deals in future -- starving companies of business and funds.
September's increase was the first rise since January 2012 and came in ahead of expectations of a 0.3 per cent fall in a survey of economists by Bloomberg News.
The consumer price index, a key gauge of retail inflation, rose 1.9 per cent, also above expectations of 1.6 percent.
China expanded last year at its slowest rate in a quarter of a century as Beijing strives to effect a difficult transition from reliance on exports and fixed-asset investment to an economy driven by consumers.