China's consumer inflation accelerated to 1.8 percent in December and its factory-gate prices rose by 4.9 percent, official data released on Wednesday showed.
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose by 1.6 percent in 2017, lower than the yearly control target of 3 percent, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on its website. Last year, the reading was 2 percent.
Weakening food prices are a major contributor to the fall in the monthly CPI reading last month, Sheng Guoqing, a senior statistician of the NBS, said in a statement. Non-food price rises are the main cause of the overall CPI growth, he said.
Health, housing-related, and education, culture and entertainment prices rose by 6.6 percent, 2.8 percent, and 2.1 percent, respectively, and they combined to account for 1.37 percentage points of the year-on-year CPI growth in December.
The Producer Price Index (PPI), which gauges factory-gate prices and is a major indicator of economic briskness, rose 4.9 percent from a year earlier in December, compared with 5.8 percent in November.
The PPI decline is attributable to the weakening price growth of such sectors as oil and gas exploitation, ferrous and non-ferrous metals, and coal mining and washing, which had bolstered the strong growth of PPI in previous months.
For the whole of 2017, PPI rose by 6.3 percent, compared with a minus 1.4 percent for 2016, reversing the trend of continual decline since 2012.