China\'s consumer inflation rate rose 2.6 percent in August from a year earlier, slower than a 2.7 percent rise in July, official data showed Monday. The consumer price index (CPI), a main gauge of inflation, remained well below the government\'s inflation target of 3.5 percent for this year, the National Bureau of Statistics said in a statement. Food prices, which account for a third of the basket of goods in China\'s CPI calculation, rose 4.7 percent in August on the year, down from a 5 percent increase in July, according to the bureau. The producer price index, a main gauge of inflation at the wholesale level, shrank 1.6 percent year-on-year, marking the 18th straight month of fall. The Chinese economy expanded 7.5 percent in the second quarter, easing from 7.7 percent rise in the first quarter, keeping the government-set 2013 growth target of 7.5 percent. Wang Xiaoguang, an expert with the Chinese Academy of Governance, said that steady consumer inflation will help stabilize the macroeconomic environment for the worlds second-biggest economy, state-run Xinhua News Agency reported. \"As the country\'s CPI has stayed in a low range for about two years, companies are likely to have a positive outlook for future development,\" Wang was quoted as saying.