Beijing, Feb 10 (efe-epa).- China’s consumer price index (CPI), the main indicator of inflation, declined by 0.3 percent year-on-year in January, according to official data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Wednesday.
The figure was below analysts’ forecasts, which predicted that the indicator would remain unchanged in the first month of the year, following a 0.2 percent increase in December.
This is the second time in three months that the CPI has contracted. It decreased by 0.5 percent in November, its first decline since October 2009.
The NBS’ data shows that, while the prices of fresh fruit and vegetables increased year-on-year by 1.3 percent and 10.9 percent respectively, the cost of meat fell by 0.4 percent, weighed down by the 3.9 percent decline in the prices of pork, the most popular meat among Chinese consumers.
On the other hand, there were increases in the prices of eggs (1.2 percent), milk (1.7 percent), tobacco (0.7 percent) and alcohol (2 percent).
The Covid-19 outbreaks that have paralyzed much of the northeast of the country in the last month also reflected in the statistics with a 1.9 percent drop in transportation costs and a more pronounced decrease of 13.4 percent in fuel prices.
They also reflected in the prices in the tourism sector, which fell by 8.6 percent year-on-year amid recommendations by the government to avoid non-essential travel.
Prices of clothing and housing fell by 0.2 percent and 0.4 percent respectively while the cost of medical treatment increased by 0.4 percent.
NBS statistician Dong Lijuan pointed out that the data partly reflects the impact of partial lockdowns in the country due to the resurgence of Covid-19.
The statistics agency also released the producer price index (PPI), an indicator that measures and tracks wholesale inflation.
The PPI rose 0.3 percent year-on year in January, its first increase in the last 12 months. EFE-EPA