BEIJING (AP) — China’s consumer price index rose 2.3 percent in July from a year earlier, well below the ruling Communist Party’s 3.5 percent target for the year.

The National Bureau of Statistics released the latest inflation data Saturday, which was unchanged from the inflation rate in June.

The rise in the index was driven largely by higher food prices, which increased by 3.6 percent.

Experts expect the inflation to stay stable this year, leaving room for interest rate cuts or other measures to stimulate the economy if necessary.

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