Prices of food including alcohol are set to rise 1.3 percent in March, recovering from a 0.7 percent drop in the previous month, boosted by higher prices of processed food including alcohol (2.5 percent vs 1.3 percent) while cost of unprocessed food is expected to fall at a slower pace (-0.4 percent vs -3.2 percent). Additional upward pressure should come from: tobacco (2.2 percent vs 0.3 percent); and services related to transport (2.5 percent vs 1.9 percent). Meanwhile, energy inflation is set to slow to 3 percent from 3.7 percent in February, due to both non-regulated energy products (1.1 percent vs 2.1 percent) and regulated energy products (5 percent vs 5.3 percent).
Annual core inflation rate, which excludes energy and unprocessed food, is expected to rise to 0.9 percent from 0.6 percent in February. Excluding only energy, the inflation should pick up to 0.7 percent from 0.2 percent in the prior month.
On a monthly basis, consumer prices are expected to increase 0.4 percent, after showing no growth in February, mainly due to higher costs of processed food including alcohol (1.3 percent), tobacco (1.8 percent) and services related to transport (1.7 percent).
The harmonised index of consumer prices is expected to rise by 1.1 percent from the previous year; and by 2.5 percent from the previous month.