CN: Consumer Price Index

Thu Jan 08 19:30:00 CST 2015

Consensus Actual Previous
Y/Y % Change 1.5% 1.5% 1.4%
M/M % Change 0.3% -0.2%

December consumer price index was up 1.5 percent on the year as expected. The CPI was up 0.3 percent on the month. For the full year 2014, the CPI was up 2.0 percent. Food prices were up 2.9 percent from a year ago after increasing 2.3 percent in November. Non-food prices were up 0.8 percent after increasing 1.0 percent last time. Urban prices were up 1.6 percent after increasing 1.5 percent while rural prices were up 1.3 percent for a second month.

Transportation & communication prices were down for a fourth month, this time by 1.4 percent after declining 0.8 percent in November and 0.3 percent in the prior two months. Housing prices eased to an increase of 1.0 percent after 1.4 percent in November.

The consumer price index measures the change in the price of goods and services purchased by consumers. The average price of various goods and services are sampled and then compared to the sampling a done year earlier.

Consumer prices account for a majority of overall inflation, which is carefully monitored by investors worldwide. Investors worldwide monitor Chinese price changes closely. A pickup in inflation could mean an increase in interest rates is in the offing from the People's Bank of China while an easing could mean looser monetary policy. The monthly CPI is broken down by 8 categories with more detail available on the following day including aggregate information by urban and rural areas and provinces.

The CPI measures the change in the level of prices for a specified basket of goods and services normally purchased by urban and rural residents. Approximately 226 areas throughout the country are covered, including 80 counties and 146 cities. The current CPI is an annually chained Laspeyres price index and has been available since 2001. From 1978 to 2000, the index was compiled using current year weights for most items.