China's consumer price index (CPI), a main gauge of inflation, rose 3.1 per cent year-on-year in September, up from 2.6 per cent in August, while its producer price index (PPI) fell 1.3 per cent for the same period amid decline in exports.
The average CPI rise in the first nine months stood at 2.5 per cent, well below the government's full-year target of 3.5 per cent, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said today.
Yu Qiumei, a senior statistician with the bureau, attributed the CPI rise in September mainly to a hike in food prices due to the holiday effect, as well as drought and floods in some regions.
Food prices account for about one-third of the CPI data.
Last month, food prices rose 6.1 per cent year-on-year, while prices of non-food products moved up 1.6 per cent, state-run Xinhua news agency quoted the NBS as saying.
The NBS data also showed China's producer price index, which measures inflation at the wholesale level, fell 1.3 per cent in September from a year-ago period.
Also the PPI, which measures inflation at the wholesale level, fell 1.3 per cent in September from a year earlier compared with a 1.6 per cent drop in August, the NBS said.
PPI has been in negative territory for 19 consecutive months.
However, the pace of the decrease has been easing for four straight months, indicating continued strengthening of the country's economy, Yu said.
On a monthly basis, the PPI edged up 0.2 per cent in September, up slightly from a 0.1 per cent month-on-month increase for August, according to the NBS.
China's gross domestic product (GDP) growth eased to 7.5 per cent in the second quarter, down from 7.7 per cent in the first quarter and 7.9 per cent in the last quarter of 2012, sparking concerns of economy slowing down.
The NBS is scheduled to release the GDP data for the third quarter on Friday.
China's exports fell 0.3 per cent in September from a year earlier, ending two consecutive months of rise, reverting to the earlier trend of decline.
Imports, however, increased 7.4 per cent last month from a year-ago period, accelerating from 7 per cent rise in August, the General Administration of Customs said.
This left China's trade surplus at USD 15.2 billion in September, compared with USD 28.52 billion in August and USD 44.7 per cent less than the same month last year.
In the first nine months of the year, exports and imports gained 7.7