The inflation rate was little changed in April, with consumer prices 5.3% higher than a year earlier, and down only 0.1% from March’s level, half as much as economists had forecast. That will disappoint policy makers who were expecting a greater response to their efforts to drive down prices. Food prices in particular confounded them, rising 11.5% year-on-year. Against that producer price inflation dropped to a 6.8% rate from March’s 7.3% as the growth rate in industrial output slowed. Also, new bank lending in April, at 39.6 billion, was down 2.7% from a year earlier as central bank tightening began to take hold. The persistence of price pressures and the only slight overall cooling of the economy suggest that the regime of step interest rate rises and capital reserve ratio hikes will continue alongside administrative measures to drive down the politically sensitive price of food.