Headline CPI inflation moderated to 6.5% yoy in December from 6.9% yoy in November, mainly due to high base effects.
Soaring costs have triggered stampedes at sales of discounted cooking oil and eggs, price controls on staple foods and memories of the unrest before the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests and crackdown. The World Bank estimates 300 million Chinese people live in poverty.
Consumer prices rose more quickly in the countryside than in cities last year and the gap between rural and urban incomes widened. Urban disposable incomes climbed 17.2 percent from a year earlier to 13,786 yuan ($1,908), while rural earnings rose 15.4 percent to 4,140 yuan.