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China producer prices jump 7.8% in February: govt

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Prices for goods at the factory gate in China rose for the sixth straight month in February, officials said Thursday, slightly beating expectations as strong demand boosts the world's second-largest economy.

[BEIJING] Prices for goods at the factory gate in China rose for the sixth straight month in February, officials said on Thursday, slightly beating expectations as strong demand boosts the world's second-largest economy.

The producer price index (PPI) rose 7.8 per cent year-on-year, according to the National Bureau of Statistics, topping economist expectations of a 7.7 per cent increase in a Bloomberg poll.

It marked an acceleration from the previous five months and fuelled expectations China could begin exporting inflation into the global economy, despite fears that trade tensions may surge under new US President Donald Trump.

The on-year rise in producer prices is partly due to the comparison with a low figure last year, when prices saw a "sharp decrease" in February, NBS analyst Sheng Guoqing said in a statement.

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Increase in oil and natural gas exploitation, coal mining, as well as metal smelting also contributed to the expansion, he added.

The consumer price index (CPI), a key gauge of retail inflation, rose 0.8 per cent last month, missing the 1.7 per cent increase estimated by economists and marking its slowest growth in two years.

Authorities had vowed to keep the CPI increase "at around three per cent" in a work report delivered to the National People's Congress on Sunday.

AFP

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