China's inflation accelerated to 2.3 percent in February, driven by a jump in food prices, but fell below the government's official target for the year.

The consumer price rise reported Thursday was up from January's 1.8 percent. Food prices rose 7.3 percent, up from the previous month's gain of 4.1 percent.

Inflation is forecast to edge higher this year, though analysts say it is unlikely to reach levels that would hamper plans by Chinese leaders to boost government spending to shore up slowing economic growth.

The government's official inflation target for the year is 3 percent.