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China consumer inflation almost doubles in February

AFP  |  Beijing 

Chinese almost doubled last month to its highest level in four years, data showed today, as holiday spending added to growing inflationary pressures in the world's second-largest

The the key consumer price index (CPI) hit 2.9 per cent in February, up from 1.5 per cent in January and better than the 2.5 per cent forecast in a survey by

aims to keep CPI growth at "around three percent" in 2018, said earlier this week in his annual state-of-the-nation speech to the National People's (NPC), China's rubber-stamp legislature.

The year-on-year figure from the was fanned by the Lunar New Year - which began on February 16 - as Chinese typically purchase large amounts of and gifts before the holiday, driving up prices.

Hundreds of millions of Chinese travelling back to their hometowns for the holiday also boost

But with the holiday now past, "year-on-year CPI growth will fall to some extent in March", NBS said.

The price index (PPI) - an important barometer of the industrial sector that measures the cost of goods at the factory gate - came in at 3.7 per cent on-year.

That fell slightly short of the 3.8 percent forecast by and was down from the 4.3 per cent in the previous month.

"We can't ignore the much higher consumer pressure this year, and that's what the central is looking at," Shen Jianguang, chief economist at Mizuho Securities Ltd in Hong Kong, told

"is already tightening."

Liu Xuezhi, an at of Communications Co. in added that PPI would likely see moderate growth but was not expected to fall into negative territory.

"PPI will likely see moderate growth, but is unlikely to fall into negative territory,".

Sustained could complicate the efforts of the central to stimulate economic activity while also continuing a campaign to tighten regulation of the to curb surging credit and risky loans.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, March 09 2018. 10:15 IST