Year-on-year, prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages increased by 0.4 percent in February, slowing from a 2.6 percent rise in January and reaching the lowest food inflation in 13 months. Also, cost advanced at a softer rate for restaurant & hotels (2.8 percent vs 3 percent in January); education (1.4 percent vs 1.6 percent); recreation & culture (0.6 percent vs 1.1 percent); furnishing, household equipment & routine maintenance (3.2 percent vs 2.6 percent) and alcoholic beverages & tobacco (a flat reading vs 0.1 percent). In addition, prices fell further for transport (-4.2 percent vs -3.8 percent); and communication (-2.3 percent vs -1.5 percent). In contrast, cost of housing & utilities increased at a faster pace (1.5 percent vs 0.9 percent); and inflation was steady for miscellaneous goods & services (at 1.6 percent, the same as in January); and clothing and footwear (at 0.4 percent). Meantime, cost of health dropped less (-0.4 percent vs - 0.5 percent).
Core CPI, which excludes oil and agricultural products, increased by 1.3 percent year-on-year in February
, after a 1.2 percent rise in January.
On a monthly basis, consumer prices went up 0.4 percent in February, rebounding from a 0.1 percent decline in a month earlier but slightly below market consensus of a 0.5 percent increase. It marked the first monthly gain since September last year.