BEIJING: China's annual consumer inflation slowed down in February as consumers remained cautious despite the abandonment of strong pandemic controls late last year, official data showed on Thursday.
Producer deflation extended into a fifth month.
The consumer price index (CPI) for the month was 1.0% higher than a year earlier, compared with the 2.1% annual rise seen in January, said the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). The result fell short of the median estimate of a 1.9% gain in a Reuters poll.
The CPI, which is seasonally adjusted, fell 0.5% from a month earlier, missing the forecast of 0.2% gain. The monthly CPI rise in January was 0.8%.
The government has set a target for average consumer prices in 2023 to be about 3% higher than last year, when prices were up 2% on 2021 and fell short of a target for 3%.
The producer price index (PPI) in February fell 1.4% from a year earlier. Economists in a Reuters poll had forecast a fall of 1.3%.
In January the PPI was down 0.8% on a year earlier.
China's parliament has set what analysts say is a conservative growth target for 2023 gross domestic product of around 5%, a sign that policymakers are aware of economic headwinds. - Reuters