Farmers sort navel oranges in Huichang county, Jiangxi province, on Dec 8, 2020. [Photo by ZHU HAIPENG/FOR CHINA DAILY] China's consumer price index, the main gauge of inflation, rose by 0.2 percent year-on-year in December, compared with a 0.5 percent decline in November, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Monday. Dong Lijuan, a NBS statistician, attributed the rise mainly to the pickup in consumer demand, the cold weather that pushed up food prices, and rising production costs. The CPI rose by 2.5 percent in 2020 from the previous year, the NBS said, within the government target of about 3.5 percent. Food prices grew by 1.2 percent year-on-year in December, versus a 2 percent drop in November. Pork prices, a major contributor to food price changes, dropped by 1.3 percent year-on-year last month, narrowing by 11.2 percentage points from a month earlier, the bureau said. The core CPI, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, rose by 0.4 percent year-on-year last month, edging down from 0.5 percent in November. Meanwhile, the country's producer price index, which gauges factory gate prices, fell by 0.4 percent on a yearly basis in December, narrowing from a 1.5 percent decline a month earlier and sending the whole-year PPI dropping 1.8 percent. The steady recovery in domestic demand and sustained rally in international prices of some commodities continued to push up industrial good prices, Dong said, with the PPI rising 1.1 percent on a monthly basis in December, up by 0.6 percentage points from November. Wu Chaoming, chief economist at Chasing Securities, said he expects China's inflation to remain mild this year with the CPI likely to register an annual growth about 1.5 percent, while non-food prices are set to replace food prices as the main driving force of prices.