CN: Consumer Price Index

Mon Mar 09 20:30:00 CDT 2015

Consensus Actual Previous
Y/Y % Change 0.9% 1.4% 0.8%
M/M % Change 1.2% 0.3%

Consumer prices do not seem to be flirting with deflation. February consumer price inflation improved to a reading of 1.4 percent from a year ago after increasing 0.8 percent in January. Expectations were for an increase of 0.9 percent. On the month, the CPI was up 1.2 percent after inching up 0.3 percent last time. For the two months, January and February, the CPI was up 1.1 percent. Urban prices increasing 1.5 percent after 0.8 percent while rural consumer prices were up 1.5 percent after 0.8 percent.

Food prices added 2.4 percent after a 1.1 percent increase last time while non-food inflation was 0.9 percent higher after adding 0.6 percent in January. Prices for tobacco & alcohol declined 0.6 percent after sliding 0.4 percent last time. Transportation & communication prices were down for a sixth consecutive month, losing 1.7 percent after 2.2 percent. Clothing prices were up 2.9 percent for a second month.

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.