Consumer prices were unchanged in February from a year earlier, ending a three-month decline as demand for food increased over the Spring Festival holiday, Bloomberg reported. Food prices rose by an average of 0.6 per cent, offsetting price drops of 2.1 per cent in clothing, 4.9 per cent in vehicles and 16.5 per cent in phones. Prices in rural areas rose by 0.4 per cent, while those in urban areas fell by 0.2 per cent.
Retail sales rose 8.5 per cent year-on-year in the first two months of this year to Yn692.05bn, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). This was lower than expected, said an economist at China Southern Securities.
Industrial output rose 10.9 per cent yearon- year in the first two months of 2002. The NBS statement gave no figure for February alone as the Chinese New Year holiday, which fell in January in 2001 and February in 2002, reduces the number of working days in the month. China’s planners have set a target of 9 per cent growth in industrial output for 2002.