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BEIJING: Factory prices rose in China for the first time in a year last month as the country’s vast industrial sector leads a recovery from the virus pandemic, with analysts hailing the data as a turning point for the world’s number two economy.

But the lingering effects of the disease weighed on the country’s vast army of shoppers as consumer prices slipped, hit by new outbreaks that led to the reimposition of containment measures.

Official data showed the producer price index (PPI), a key measure of input costs, came in at 0.3 percent in January, having fallen every month but January in 2020 owing to a collapse in demand as the virus broke out around the country and then the world. The figure was in line with forecasts and a big improvement in the 0.4 percent fall seen in December.

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