Inflation still is below the Communist Party's 3.5% target for the year. But rising prices could make it harder to keep an economic recovery on track with interest rate cuts or higher government spending.
Inflation is politically volatile in China because it erodes economic gains that underpin the ruling party's claim to power. Some poor families spend up to half their incomes on food.
China's economic growth hit a two-decade low of 7.5% in the three months ending in June. It rebounded to 7.8% in the latest quarter but analysts say that strength is unlikely to last.
China's exports rebounded to relatively strong growth in October, rising 5.6% over a year earlier. That came after September's unexpected and rare decline of 0.3%.