China's consumer price index (CPI) soared in January due to a surge in food prices, adding pressure on the government to tackle the escalating inflation.

The CPI, the main gauge of inflation, rose by 4.9 percent in January year on year, driven by a 10.3 percent jump in food prices, reported the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

The figure is 0.3 percentage points higher than December’s rate of 4.6 percent and is close to November’s 28-month high of 5.1 percent.

Beijing has upped interest rates three times since October to cool the country’s rapid economic growth and to dampen down inflation. But analysts say more will need to be done to curb the rising amount of bank loans while the country also tries to increase food supplies to bring down prices.

China 's foreign trade surged by 44 percent year on year in January to 295.01 billion USD, spurred on by an increase of imports ahead of the nation's traditional Lunar New Year Festival.

Exports rose by 37.7 percent year on year to 150.73 billion USD, while imports rose by 51 percent to 144.28 billion USD, said the General Administration of Customs on February 14./.