China’s Consumer Price Index rose 1.8% in July from a year earlier, recording the slowest gain since February as growth in food prices cooled. The inflation reading was within the 1.6 to 1.9% range predicted by economists from 15 financial institutions polled by Caixin. It also fell below the government’s 3% ceiling for 2016. A monthly drop in meat prices, especially the pork price, dragged down the cost of the overall food basket, August 9 data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed. This also cushioned the impact from rising vegetable prices in the aftermath of heavy floods, which destroyed crops and delivery routes, said Yu Qiumei, a senior statistician at NBS.