China's annual consumer inflation rose 1.8 percent in April, slower than March's 2.4 percent rise, data on Friday showed.
The reading was below expectations for a 2 percent rise in a Reuters poll. On a month-on-month basis CPI fell 0.3 percent, below expectations for a 0.1 percent decline.
"It seems China is catching a whiff of that deflationary problem," Yao Wei, China economist at Societe Generale told CNBC.
"For an economy with a nominal GDP (gross domestic product) growing at 8 percent, this is an extremely low level of inflation, or rather deflation actually. It seems that all these corrections that China needs to work on its debt are having an impact on the economy and we think its going to last, the low inflation or PPI (producer price) deflation," she added.