China's consumer price index (CPI), a main gauge ofinflation, rose by 1.6% in 2017, lower than theyearly control target of 3%, the National Bureau ofStatistics (NBS) said on its website.
NBS senior statistician Sheng Guoqing attributedthe slowdown mainly due to a 1.4-percent decline infood prices, which were down for the first time in 15 years.
Pork and vegetable prices both dropped by more than 8 percent year-on-year.
Last year, the CPI increase peaked at 2.5 percent in January, and later fluctuated below 2 percent during the rest of the year.
The Producer Price Index (PPI), which gauges factory-gate prices and is a major indicator ofeconomic briskness, rose by 6.3% in 2017, compared with a minus 1.4% for 2016, reversingthe trend of continual decline since 2012.
Lian Ping, chief economist with the Bank of Communications, said rising producer prices maypush up consumer prices in the longer term.
"On the low base in 2017, CPI may increase at a faster pace this year, but there will not benoticeable inflationary pressure against the backdrop of stable demand and tightmonetary environment," Lian said.