China\'s annual inflation held steady at 2.7 percent year-on-year in July, official data showed Friday. The consumer price index (CPI) figures from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) were marginally below market expectations of 2.8 percent, according to the median forecast in a survey of 14 economists by Dow Jones Newswires. Inflation in July was driven by food prices, which contributed 1.61 percentage points of the gain, data showed. For the first seven months of the year inflation came in at an annualised 2.4 percent, the NBS said. China has set its inflation target for 2013 at 3.5 percent, higher than last year\'s actual rate of 2.6 percent. The world\'s second-largest economy grew 7.8 percent in 2012, its slowest annual pace in 13 years. Growth slipped to 7.7 percent in the January-March period and slowed further to 7.5 percent in the second quarter. But official data last week showed the manufacturing sector remained in expansion mode in July and robust trade figures released Thursday have been taken as possible signs of stability. Economists still say, however, that China faces slower growth.