London-China’s producer prices unexpectedly rose in September for the first time in nearly five years thanks to stronger commodity prices, welcome news for the government as it struggles to whittle down a growing mountain of corporate debt.
The producer price index (PPI) rose 0.1 percent in September from a year earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Friday.
While the increase was slight, it was the first time producer prices have expanded on an annual basis since January 2012, and came a bit earlier than the year-end timeframe that some analysts had expected. Producer prices had edged up on month-on-month basis over the summer.
China’s factory prices have been falling since March 2012, and more than four years of producer price deflation have squeezed industrial companies’ cash flow and impaired their ability to service their debts.
Meanwhile, Chinese President Xi Jinping, stepping up a competition with India for regional influence, said on Friday ties with Bangladesh would be enhanced to a strategic partnership as the two countries signed 27 agreements worth billions of dollars.
Xi, making a first trip by a Chinese president to Bangladesh in 30 years, boosted involvement in Bangladeshi infrastructure at a time when Japan has also increased investment in the country located on the Bay of Bengal.
“We agreed to elevate the relations between China and Bangladesh from a closer comprehensive partnership of cooperation to a strategic partnership of cooperation,” Xi said after talks with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Among the agreements sealed on Friday was a 1,320 MW power plant that China will build, officials said.
China’s TBEA signed a power grid deal worth $1.6 billion with Dhaka Power, following a pact that Jiangsu Etern’s consortium signed on Thursday to strengthen Bangladesh’s power grid network valued at $1.1 billion.
“We reached a consensus to work together in trade and investment and other key areas such as infrastructure, agriculture, energy and power, information technology and transportation,” Hasina said.