BEIJING — China's inflation rose again in March despite mounting government efforts to cool politically sensitive living costs.

The government reported Friday that consumer prices rose 5 percent in March over a year earlier. That was up only slightly from February's 4.9 percent but was a setback for communist officials who have raised interest rates repeatedly and taken other steps to cool prices.

Food costs rose 11 percent in the first three months of the year over a year ago.

Also in the first quarter, the government says economic growth slowed slightly to 9.7 percent. That followed efforts to steer China's rapid expansion to a more sustainable pace after double-digit growth last year. (AP)