China's consumer price index (CPI), the main gauge of inflation, in May was 7.7 percent up from May last year, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Thursday.
The figure, compared with 8.5 percent in April and a 12-year-high of 8.7 percent in February, was broadly in line with most forecasts, but still in excess of the government's annual target of 4.8 percent.
The May CPI rose 7.3 percent in urban areas, and 8.5 percent in rural areas, according to the statistics.
Food prices, which account for more than a third of the CPI calculation, soared 19.9 percent in May, 2.2 percentage points lower than the growth in April.
The price of meat increased 37.8 percent, with that of pork surging 48 percent. Cooking oil price went up 41.4 percent, with vegetables up 10.3 percent, aquatic products up 18.3 percent and grains up 8.6 percent.
In the first five months of this year, the inflation indicator rose 8.1 percent over the same period last year, 7.7 percent up for urban areas and 8.8 percent up for the countryside.
(Xinhua News Agency June 12, 2008)