China inflation accelerates to 2.4% year-on-year in March

BEIJING (AFP) China's inflation rate accelerated to 2.4 per cent year-on-year in March, the government said Friday, driven by higher food prices.

The increase in the consumer price index (CPI) announced by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) was up from the 2.0 per cent recorded in February, but marginally below economist forecasts of 2.5 per cent reported by Dow Jones Newswires.

Food prices rose 4.1 per cent in March from the year before, the NBS said.

The acceleration in inflation may assuage economists' concerns that the risk of deflation in the world's second-largest economy was rising after February's figure.

China's CPI, a main gauge of inflation, rose by 2.6 per cent in 2013, unchanged from 2012 and well below the 3.5 per cent target set by the government.

The government kept the inflation goal for this year unchanged last month.