A vender arranges fruit at a market in Lianyungang, east China's Jiangsu Province, Feb. 15, 2019. Consumer price index (CPI), a main gauge of inflation, rose 1.7 percent year on year in January, compared with 1.9-percent growth in December, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed. (Xinhua/Geng Yuhe)
BEIJING, Feb. 15 (Xinhua) -- China's consumer price index (CPI), a main gauge of inflation, rose 1.7 percent year on year in January, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Friday.
The increase was down from 1.9 percent for December.
Food prices climbed 1.9 percent year on year last month, down 0.6 percentage points from December, according to the NBS.
The price of pork, the staple meat for Chinese consumers, fell 3.2 percent year on year in January, a sharper decline than the 1.5-percent drop recorded in December.
On a month-on-month basis, the pork price dipped 1 percent, the NBS said, citing increased supplies as authorities removed the blockade for African swine fever in some regions.
Non-food prices gained 1.7 percent year on year in January, the same growth as that in December.
Prices in the educational, cultural and entertainment sector rose 2.9 percent year on year, while those in the medical and housing sectors increased 2.7 percent and 2.1 percent, respectively.
Gasoline and diesel prices declined for the second month in a row, down 6.2 percent and 6.5 percent, respectively.
The CPI in urban areas increased 1.8 percent year on year, while that in the countryside ticked up by 1.7 percent.
On a month-on-month basis, the country's CPI went up 0.5 percent in January, the NBS said.
The prices of fresh vegetables, fruits, aquatic products, mutton, beef and eggs contributed 0.32 percentage points to the month-on-month CPI growth, as cold weather and strong demand ahead of the Spring Festival lifted their prices.
Travel demands during the festival and the winter vacation also pushed the prices of plane tickets, tour agency services and coach tickets higher, according to the NBS.
China's CPI for 2018 rose 2.1 percent year on year, up from 1.6 percent for 2017. The growth exceeded 2 percent for the first time in the past four years but remained well below the government's target of around 3 percent in 2018.