The National Statistics bureau said on June 14 that consumer prices rose 5.5% over a year earlier, driven by an 11.7% jump in food costs. That was up from April's 5.3% rate and exceeded March's 32-month high of 5.4%.
May's price increase was the fastest since July 2008, when inflation was 6.3%. It peaked at 8.7% in February 2008 but fell back under the shock to export demand from the global crisis.
Food prices are heavily weighted in China's calculation of its consumer price index and as supplies rebound during the summer months, that pressure should ease, economists say.