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China's inflation up 2.5 pct in January

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BEIJING, Feb. 14 (Xinhua) -- China's consumer price index (CPI), a main gauge of inflation, rose 2.5 percent year on year in January, the same as the previous month, official data revealed on Friday.

Inflation rose 2.6 percent in cities, and 2.2 percent in rural areas, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said in a statement.

Food prices, which account for roughly a third of CPI, rose 3.7 percent in January from a year ago, contributing to a 1.23-percentage-point increase in January's CPI growth. Prices of non-food products edged up 1.9 percent last month, the bureau said.

In the food category, fruit, milk, beef, mutton, aquatic products and fresh vegetables all rose year on year last month. Fruit prices led the way by jumping 23 percent from a year ago. Prices of pork, eggs and edible oil contracted year on year in January.

Prices of tours and outings soared 14.9 percent last month, as many Chinese chose to travel at home or abroad to celebrate the Chinese New Year, which fell on Jan. 31.

Prices of household services and processing and maintenance services rose 9.2 percent last month, largely because of a labor shortage as many workers returned to their hometowns for the Chinese New Year.

Rents went up 4.6 percent year on year in January, according to the NBS.

On a month-to-month basis, January's CPI grew 1 percent from December. Food prices in January rose 2.4 percent from the previous month, while prices of non-food products edged up 0.3 percent.

Meanwhile, China's producer price index (PPI), a main gauge of inflation at the wholesale level, contracted 1.6 percent year on year in January, following a 1.4-percent drop in December, according to the NBS.

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