BEIJING (AP) — China's consumer price index rose 2.3 percent in July from a year earlier, well below the ruling Communist Party's 3.5 percent target for the year.

The latest inflation rate was unchanged from June, according to data released Saturday by the National Bureau of Statistics.

The rise in the index was driven largely by higher food prices, which increased by 3.6 percent. Prices for fruits and eggs rose the fastest.

Experts expect the inflation to stay stable this year, leaving room for interest rate cuts or other measures to stimulate the economy if necessary.