BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s producer prices in February fell 0.4% from a year earlier, official data showed on Tuesday, swinging back into deflationary territory as the coronavirus outbreak hit business activity.
Analysts had expected the producer price index (PPI) to fall 0.3% from a year earlier, compared with a 0.1% rise in January.
Consumer prices rose 5.2% from a year earlier versus a 5.4% increase in January and a 5.2% rise tipped by economists in the poll.
China locked down Wuhan and some cities in Hubei province, the epicenter of the outbreak, and imposed restrictions in other cities to contain the spread of the virus from late January.
The measures likely led to a major slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy in the first quarter, analysts say.
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