China's CPI up 1.8 pct in dec

Added On January 12, 2018

China's consumer price index, a main gauge of inflation, rose 1.8 percent year on year in December.
Despite the pickup, inflation finishes 2017 at 1.6 percent, well below the government's three percent target. 
The National Bureau of Statistics said on Wednesday that the pickup in December was driven by a fast increase in non-food prices, which rose 2.4 percent year on year.
The bureau said prices for medical products and services rose 6.6 percent year on year. Housing-related prices rose 2.8 percent, while educational, cultural and entertainment prices rose 2.1 percent.
Food prices meanwhile eased by about 0.4 percent year on year.
Inflation for the year now comes in at 1.6 percent, slower than the 2 percent recorded in 2016.
The annual figure is well below the government's target of around 3 percent.
Brokerage firm, China Galaxy Securities says it predicts prices to rise this month, as country gets ready for the Chinese New Year.
SOUNDBITE(CHINESE):SHAO YU, Chief Economist of ORIENT Securities
"CPI usually goes up in January because of cold weather and Spring Festival. There will be some pull up momentum in the prices of vegetable and pork. The CPI in January will be at 2.2 percent or 2 percent, within an acceptable range."
The firm expects inflation to finish 2018 at about 2 percent.