Saturday's data showed higher food prices drove April's inflation, with pork prices climbing 8.3 percent. Overall annual food inflation was also buoyant, quickening to 2.7 percent in April, compared to 0.9 percent for non-food inflation.
And in a sign that China's anti-graft campaign led by President Xi Jinping had also dented spending, liquor prices fell 0.5 percent in April for the 19th consecutive month.
But producer prices remained stubbornly weak, with the producer price index sliding 4.6 percent.
The market had expected producer prices to fall 4.4 percent on an annual basis after a decline of 4.6 percent in March.
Lower extraction costs for miners and cheaper raw material prices led the drop in producer prices, data showed. Extraction costs tumbled 19.6 percent from a year ago in April and raw material prices slid 8.3 percent.
"The producer price index will not return into positive territory within this year," said Li Huiyong, an analyst at Shenwan Hongyuan Securities. "This provides space for monetary policy. We predict a rate cut and a RRR cut will be staggered over the first-half of this year."
Weighed down by a property downturn and slackening growth in manufacturing and investment, China's economic growth is expected to slow to a quarter-century low of around 7 percent this year, from 7.4 percent in 2014.
And data suggests that the recent flurry of policy easing has yet to stoke a rebound in activity.
Consumer inflation is still far short of Beijing's 3 percent target for 2015, and trade data released on Friday also pointed to entrenched weakness.
Worried about the risk of job losses, China's leaders are likely to resort to fiscal stimulus to revive growth, government economists told Reuters this week.
Data on industrial output, retail sales, investment and bank lending will be released next week. Economists had hoped those readings would show some signs the economy was stabilising.