China CPI Inflation A Bit Faster Than Forecast

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China Jan CPI
A customer picks up a shoe at a shop where posters advertising price discounts are hung, outside a department store in Beijing, Oct. 23, 2013.

China's consumer inflation rate held steady in January, coming in slightly higher than forecasts.

The consumer price index (CPI) for January jumped 2.5 percent from a year earlier, or 1 percent on a monthly basis, as beef, pork and vegetable prices all increased, official data showed Friday.

The year-on-year result was identical to that in December, but the month-on-month gain was higher than a 0.3 percent climb in the previous month. The result also surpassed a 2.3 percent climb forecasted in Wall Street Journal and Reuters surveys.

The producer price index (PPI) retreated 1.6 percent in January from a year earlier -- which was the biggest decrease since August 2013. A decline of 1.7 percent had been expected.

That compared to a 1.4 percent fall in December, when prices were flat on a monthly basis. The result matched a forecast from a Wall Street Journal economists' poll.

Stocks opened higher as the data were released, with Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index HK:HSI +0.70 percent up 1.1 percent compared to a 1 percent premarket gain ahead of the numbers, according to MarketWatch. The Shanghai Composite CN:SHCOMP +0.03 percent swung to a 0.4 percent gain from a 0.1 percent loss in the premarket.

The Australian dollar AUDUSD +0.26 percent rose for a brief time right after the data but rapidly returned to its previous level around 90.10 U.S. cents, MarketWatch noted.

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