SHANGHAI — China’s consumer price index, which is the main gauge of inflation, grew at 1.7 percent in October from a year earlier, which marks the lowest expansion rate in nearly three years, according to data released today by the country’s statistics bureau.

In September, the inflation rate was 1.9 percent year-on-year and in August it was 2 percent compared to the same month the year before.

HSBC economists said October’s CPI beat market expectations and that the deceleration was due mainly to falling food prices in the country. Food prices rose 1.8 percent last month, down from 2.5 percent in September.


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“Although inflation will start to creep back up in the coming months, the outlook remains benign and should leave enough room for Beijing to maintain its current easing bias to consolidate China’s growth recovery,” HSBC China economist Sun Junwei said in a research note.

Producer prices dropped 2.8 percent year-on-year in October following a 3.6 percent decline in September, which is line with market expectations, HSBC said.

China’s economy expanded 7.4 percent from July to September from a year earlier, marking the slowest growth rate in nearly three years.