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China's CPI up 4.1% in Dec

Jan. 12, 2012 (China Knowledge) - China's consumer price index (CPI), the major gauge of inflation, increased 4.1% year on year in December, reflecting the lowest growth last year, according to statistics released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) today.

The country's inflation has been easing since July 2011 when the CPI growth hit this year's highest level of 6.5%.

Last month, China saw its CPI rise 0.3% from November 2011.

The CPI in urban areas rose 4.1% year on year in December, while the CPI in rural areas increased 4.1% year on year, according to the statistics.

NBS said food prices went up 9.1% year on year last month, driven by a 6.9% increase in grain prices, 16.6% surge in the prices of meat, poultry and processed products and 1.2% increase in the prices of fresh eggs. The price of pork jumped 21.3% year on year last month, which contributed 0.64 percentage points to the overall CPI growth last month. Non-food prices rose 1.9% year on year in December.  
The prices of tobacco products, alcohol and related products climbed 3.9% year on year, mainly driven by a 9.2% increase in alcohol prices, while the prices of household appliances and maintenance services edged up 2.5% from a year earlier.

The price of personal and health care products increased 2.8% year on year in December, while the price of clothing rose 3.8%.

There was an increase of 0.3% in the prices of transportation and communications, and there was an increase of 2.1% in housing costs that were driven by 0.7% increase in the prices of water, electricity and fuels, 2.4% increase in the prices of building and decoration materials and 2.9% rise in housing rentals.

In the whole of 2011, the country's CPI rose 5.4% year on year. The CPI increased 5.3% year on year in urban areas and 5.8% in rural areas.

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