Year-on-year, energy cost (total) decreased by 8.9 percent, following a 8.5 percent drop in February. Prices were down the most for: heating oil (-28.3 percent), motor fuels (-13.5 percent). Charges also fell for central and district heating (-9.3 percent) and gas (-2.6 percent).
Cost of food and non-alcoholic beverages increased by 1.1 percent after registering a 0.7 percent rise in the previous month. Prices rose markedly for fruit (+7.5 percent), vegetables (+6.4 percent) fish and fish products (+3.5 percent) and bread & cereals (+0.8 percent). In contrast, prices were considerably down for dairy products (-3.3 percent) and edible oils and fats (-6.5 percent).
Cost of goods as a whole fell by 1.2 percent, following a 1.1 percent drop in the preceding month. Cost of services rose 1.6 percent in March from 0.9 percent in a month earlier. Among goods, lower prices were recorded for: energy prices (-8.9 percent); coffee, tea and cocoa (-3.8 percent) and personal care products (-2.0 percent). In contrast, prices rose for jewelry, clocks and watches (+4.7 percent), newspapers and periodicals (+4.4 percent), tobacco products (+3.9 percent). Among services, higher cost were seen for net rents exclusive of heating expenses (+1.1 percent), package holidays (+7.1 percent), sporting services (+4.8 percent), hairdresser services and other personal care (+2.9 percent) and catering services (+2.4 percent). In contrast, prices were down for telecommunication services (-1.6 percent).
On a monthly basis, consumer prices rose 0.8 percent, following a 0.4 percent rise in February and in line with expectations. The increase was mainly due to seasonal factors with prices rising the most for: package holidays (+10.1 percent) and clothing (+5.6 percent). Prices of energy (total) was up by 0.1 percent, especially for: heating oil (+10.1) percent. For the first time this year, consumers had to pay slightly more also for motor fuels (total) (+1.3 percent, including diesel fuel: +4.1 percent, but autogas: –1.5 percent). Cost also rose for food (+0.4 percent), alcoholic beverages and tobacco (+0.2 percent); housing, water, electricity , gas and other fuels (+0.3 percent); furnishing, household equipment (+0.2 percent), health (+0.2 percent), transport (+0.5 percent), education (+0.1 percent), restaurant and hotels (+0.4 percent) and miscellaneous goods and services (+0.1 percent).
The harmonized index of consumer prices (HICP) rose 0.1 percent year-on-year in March, following a 0.2 percent drop in February. On a month-on-month basis, the index rose 0.8 percent after gaining 0.4 percent in a month earlier.