Year-on-year, inflation quickened primarily for transport (3.6 percent vs 2.9 percent in January), as cost of fuels bounced back (0.9 percent vs -1.2 percent). Also, prices rose slightly faster for miscellaneous goods & services (5.4 percent vs 5.3 percent); household contents and services (3.5 percent vs 3.4 percent); recreation & culture (1.2 percent vs 1.1 percent) and restaurants & hotels (4.1 percent vs 3.6 percent).
Meanwhile, prices slowed for housing & utilities (5.3 percent vs 5.4 percent); food & non-alcoholic beverages (2.9 percent vs 3 percent), led by meat (-0.5 percent vs 0.8 percent); fish (5.7 percent vs 5.9 percent) and vegetables (8.9 percent vs 11.1 percent); alcoholic beverages & tobacco (4.6 percent vs 4.7 percent) and health (4.3 percent vs 4.8 percent). At the same time, inflation remained steady for clothing & footwear (at 1.8 percent); education (at 6.7 percent) and communication (at 1.5 percent).
Annual core inflation rate, which excludes cost of food, non-alcoholic beverages, fuel and energy, stood at 4.4 percent in February, unchanged from the previous three months and in line with market consensus. It holds at the highest level since May. Compared to the previous month, core consumer prices went up 1.1 percent, after a 0.2 percent in January and matching market estimates.
On a monthly basis, consumer prices inched up 0.8 percent, following a 0.2 percent decrease in the previous month and slightly below market expectations of a 0.85 percent increase. Main upward pressure came from transport prices (0.4 percent vs -3.3 percent), namely fuels (0.3 percent vs -10.2 percent).