(Yicai Global) March 9 -- The year-on-year increase in China's consumer price index, CPI, in February has returned to the "2 percent era" after a year, driven by the week-long Spring Festival holiday last month.
China's CPI last month rose 2.9 percent over last year, among which, food prices jumped 4.4 percent and non-food prices increased 2.5 percent. The average CPI in January and February rose by 2.2 percent from the previous year, showed data released by the national bureau of statistics today.
The significant increase in CPI last month was mainly affected by the timing of the Chinese Lunar New Year, which may fall on different months, January or February. High demand and spending spree during the Spring Festival holiday affect food and service prices, said Sheng Guoqing, senior data analyst of the city statistics division under NBS. As a result, February CPI increased significantly.
Moreover, sharp temperature drops during the same period also affected production and transportation of some agricultural products, pushing up the prices. As the festival factor fades away, the year-on-year increase in CPI this month is likely to reverse, Sheng added.
China targets a consumer inflation rate of around 3 percent this year, according to Premier Li Keqiang's work report.