BEIJING (AP) — Higher food prices have pushed China’s inflation to a five-month high of 2.5 percent.

Data released Tuesday showed consumer inflation in May picked up from the previous month’s 1.8 percent. The increase was driven by a 4.1 percent rise in food prices.

Inflation still is well below the ruling Communist Party’s 3.5 percent target for the year, leaving room for interest rate cuts or other measures to stimulate the slowing economy if needed.

Julian Evans-Pritchard of Capital Economics says a report that he doesn’t expect inflation to “get out of hand” this year.

Economic growth slowed to 7.4 percent in the three months ended March 31 from the previous quarter’s 7.7 percent. Other indicators suggest growth might slow still further in the current quarter.

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