China’s factory gate prices rose in annual terms in January for the first time in 12 months and at the fastest rate since May 2019, suggesting gathering growth momentum for the world’s second-largest economy, Trend reports citing Reuters.
The producer price index (PPI) rose 0.3% from a year earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics said in a statement, but slightly lagged a 0.4% gain tipped by a Reuters poll of analysts. PPI declined 0.4% in December.
The Chinese economy is expected to grow 8.4% this year, following a 2.3% rise in 2020 in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic that forced the country to shut down for much of the March quarter last year.
But a resurgence of the disease last month, though mostly isolated in Hebei province surrounding Beijing and the northeastern provinces, raised concerns about temporary disruptions to production.
Some regional authorities rolled out tough measures including home quarantines and travel curbs to contain what was the country’s worst outbreak since March 2020.
China’s factory activity grew at the slowest pace in five months in January, official data showed, reflecting the outbreak’s impact on production as well as services including logistics and transportation as the country sought to contain COVID-19 ahead of the Lunar New Year holidays.
China does not release several key datasets such as trade, industrial output and retail sales for January and instead reports combined January-February numbers in March, leaving markets with fewer data points to assess the health of the economy.
The consumer price index (CPI) unexpectedly fell 0.3% in January from a year earlier, the statistics bureau said in a separate statement, compared with no change tipped by the Reuters poll and a 0.2% rise in December.