Surging energy costs have thrust China's producer prices for January to the fastest pace in three years, the National Bureau of Statistics said today.
The Producer Price Index (PPI), the main gauge of factory-gate inflation, rose 6.1 percent last month from a year earlier, outpacing the 5.4 percent growth in December and a 4.6 percent gain in November.
“PPI has been on a fast track since November, it doesn't come as a surprise to see a rising figure for January,'' said Feng Yuming, an Orient Securities Co analyst.
The worst snowstorms in five decades hit many parts of the country last month and contributed to the rise, Feng said.
Crude oil factory-gate prices were the fastest growing sector at 29.9 percent in January. Non-ferrous metal prices increased 17.3 percent. Food prices gained 10.4 percent.
Energy costs rose 15.7 percent last month.
The higher PPI may also push the consumer price index to a high, Feng said.
The statistics authority is scheduled to release the CPI numbers tomorrow.
(Shanghai Daily February 18, 2008)