China's consumer price index (CPI), the main gauge of inflation, grew 5.2 percent year on year in February, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Tuesday.
The reading, in line with market expectations, eased slightly from the 5.4-percent gain in January. On a monthly basis, consumer prices edged up 0.8 percent.
Food prices, which account for nearly one-third of weighting in China's CPI, went up 21.9 percent year on year last month, contributing 4.45 percentage points to the index rise as the novel coronavirus outbreak disrupted market supplies and demands.
Restrictions on flows of transport and people, as well as business closures during the period have affected food supplies, while rising demands among stay-at-home residents to hoard foods combined to push up prices, NBS official Zhao Maohong said.
In the first two months, CPI went up 5.3 percent year on year on average, up 3.7 percentage points from the same period last year.
Tuesday's data also showed China's producer price index (PPI), which measures inflation at the factory gates, fell 0.4 percent year on year last month.
China's producer price index (PPI), which measures costs for goods at the factory gate, dropped 0.4 percent year on year in February, the National Bureau of Statistics said Tuesday.
This compares with a 0.1-percent growth recorded in January, according to the bureau.