BEIJING (AFP) - China's annual inflation slowed to 2.3 per cent in June from a four-month high of 2.5 per cent in May, official data showed Wednesday.
The country's consumer price index - a main gauge of inflation - also rose by 2.3 per cent in the first six months of the year from the same period in 2013, the National Bureau of Statistics said in a statement.
The result compared with expectations of a 2.4 per cent gain in a survey of economists by Dow Jones and remains well below the 3.5 per cent annual target set by Beijing in March.
Food was the main driver of inflation, according to the NBS data, with fruit prices up 19.8 per cent in June from the year before.
Despite the slowdown in inflation, the result was also higher than the 1.8 per cent gain recorded in April, which had led to concerns of deflation risks in the Chinese economy, a key driver of world growth.
Moderate inflation can be a boon to consumption as it encourages consumers to buy before prices go up, but economists say falling prices encourage consumers to put off spending and companies to delay investment, both of which act as brakes on growth.