China’s consumer price index surged at a 7.1% annual rate in January to hit its highest level in more than 11 years, providing evidence of entrenched inflationary pressures, the Financial Times reported. This compares to 6.5% inflation in December, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics. The January rise was mainly driven by high food prices, which were exacerbated by the severe winter storms that disrupted transport of farm produce and coal last month. Rising ex-factory prices (an indicator of consumer price trends), driven by higher energy costs, were also seen as helping to boost inflation. Deutsche Bank Greater China Chief Economist Jun Ma said that CPI inflation could reach 8% by March.