BEIJING (AP) — China's inflation rate eased in December to 2.5 percent amid signs the world's second-largest economy might be cooling.
Consumer price increases, reported Thursday, were down from November's 3 percent. Inflation for the full year of 2013 was 2.6 percent, well below the ruling Communist Party's target of 3.5 percent.
Lower inflation could ease pressure on Chinese leaders as they try to focus on promised reforms aimed at making the economy more productive and keeping growth strong.
China's economic growth dropped to a two-decade low of 7.5 percent in the second quarter of last year. It rebounded the following quarter but analysts say the recovery is likely to fade.
Manufacturing activity declined in December, which some analysts said suggests growth already is weakening.