China's Consumer Price Index (CPI), the main inflation indicator, grew 3.3 percent year-on-year in April against the 4.3 percent growth it posted in the previous month, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Tuesday.

The figure is below analysts' forecasts, which had predicted an increase in inflation of around 3.7 percent in April, reports Efe news.

This is the lowest data since September 2019 (inflation reached 5.4 percent in January) and comes amid government control to contain the coronavirus pandemic and economic stimulus measures to revive the economy after the halt caused by the virus.

Rising food prices

The agency's data showed that, as in previous months, the main driver behind the inter-annual increase in the CPI was rising food prices that increased 14.8 percent as compared to 18.3 percent in March.

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The price of pork, one of the most sought-after products by Chinese consumers, continued to rise and increased by 96.9 percent year-on-year last month (it rose 116.4 percent year-on-year in March and 135 percent in February) as its production has been affected by an outbreak of African swine fever that has decimated the pig population in the Asian country.

Prices of vegetables increased 3.7 percent while those of fresh fruit decreased by 10.5 percent and of eggs fell by 2.7 percent.

Production Price Index (PPI) decreased by 3.1 percent

On the other hand, the NBS said that prices of non-food items increased by 0.4 percent - they rose by 0.7 percent in the previous month - while those of consumer goods increased by 4.7 percent and of services by 0.9 percent.

The cost of healthcare rose 2.2 percent year-on-year in April while that of education, culture and entertainment increased by 2 percent. However, prices in the transport and communications sector fell by 4.9 percent while prices of clothing and homes decreased by 0.4 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively.

The NBS also announced that the Production Price Index (PPI), which measures wholesale inflation, decreased by 3.1 percent year-on-year in April after falling by 1.5 percent in March and 0.4 percent in February.