Factory and consumer price inflation in China rose at a slower rate than expected in January as global growth cools and the US trade war drags on, official data showed today. 

The producer price index (PPI) - an important barometer of the industrial sector that measures the cost of goods at the factory gate - rose 0.1% in January, compared with a 0.9% rise the previous month. 

The reading extends a six-month slowdown in which price growth has eased each month since a high of 4.7% last June. 

Slower factory-gate inflation reflects sluggish demand, while a turn to deflation could dent corporate profits. 

The consumer price index (CPI) - a key measure of retail inflation - rose by 1.7%, compared with 1.9% in December. 

Both readings fell short of the expectations of economists polled by Bloomberg News.

US and Chinese trade negotiators are holding their latest round of trade talks in Beijing, trying to work out a dispute that he seen them impose tit-for-tat tariffs on billions of dollars in trade goods. 

The trade war and slowing global growth has started to bite in China, which has posted a string of poor economic data in recent months.  

GDP growth fell in 2018 to a nearly 30-year low of 6.6%.