Beijing: China on Friday said the inflationary pressure on its economy is easing as consumer price index, the main gauge of the rate of price rise, has dropped to 3.2 percent in February, the lowest in 21 months.

China's National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) announced here that the country's consumer price index (CPI) climbed by 3.2 percent year-on-year in February, marking the lowest growth rate since June 2010.

February's CPI growth declined from the 4.5 percent increase seen in January, when traditional Chinese Lunar New Year shopping spree boosted retail prices.

In the first two months of this year, the CPI grew 3.9 percent compared to same period last year.

On a monthly basis, CPI dipped 0.1 percent in February, the NBS said.

Food prices, which have nearly one-third of the weight in the calculation of China's CPI, increased 6.2 percent last month year-on-year.

Food price growth slowed from January's 10.5 percent rise, official media here reported.

China's Producer Price Index (PPI), main gauge of inflation at the wholesale level, remained unchanged in February from a year earlier, Xinhua news agency quoted NBS as saying.

The zero-growth reading, the lowest since December 2009, further eased from 0.7 percent in January, after hitting a 31-month high of 7.5 percent in July last year, NBS data showed.

On a month-on-month basis, the country's February PPI grew 0.1 percent from January, the NBS said.

Meanwhile, producer purchase prices grew one percent year on year in February and 0.1 percent from a month ago, it said.

In the first two months of this year, the PPI climbed 0.4 percent year on year, while producer purchase prices gained 1.5 percent during the period, the NBS said.

(Agencies)