A Starbucks Corp. logo sits in the window of a closed coffee shop at the Yuyuan Bazaar in Shanghai, China, on Friday, Feb. 7, 2020.

Qilai Shen | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Inflation in China hit its highest level in more than eight years last month as the coronavirus drove up demand for some consumer goods and shuttered business activity in parts of the country.

China’s consumer price index rose 5.4% in January, after rising 4.5% in December, according to CEIC.

The jump in prices comes as economic activity has been curtailed in much of the country by the coronavirus outbreak, which led to some factories being temporarily closed and travel restrictions within the country. As of Sunday night, the country had more than 40,000 confirmed cases and 908 deaths from the virus.

The outbreak has increased demand for products that are used to prevent the spread of the virus. 3M CEO Mike Roman told CNBC last month that his company was ramping up production of respiratory masks to meet increased demand due to the outbreak.

Over the weekend, the Chinese government pledged to spend more than $10 billion to fight the virus. Some of the closed factories in the country are expected to reopen this week.

The rise in consumer prices continues a recent acceleration for inflation in China, according to the country’s National Bureau of Statistics. Inflation hit 3% in September and then broke above 4% in November.

The bureau said in a statement that the increased inflation in January was due to the Lunar New Year holiday, the coronavirus outbreak and a lower price base from last year, according to Reuters.

January’s jump was also fueled by a rise in pork prices due to the Asian swine fever that has decimated hog populations in China.



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Inflation in China is running rampant because of the coronavirus

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