Food prices surged 0.30 percent from a year earlier in March, following five consecutive months of declines and reversing a 0.73 percent drop in February. Also, the food & beverages index went up 0.66 percent, after a 0.07 percent decline, with main upward pressure coming from: meat & fish (6.55 percent); non-alcoholic beverages (3.56 percent); prepared meals, snacks, sweets etc. (3.26 percent); egg (1.45 percent); cereals & products (1.25 percent); spices (1.23 percent); oils & fats (1.08 percent); and milk & products (0.78 percent). By contrast, prices fell for sugar & confectionery (-6.12 percent); fruits (-5.88 percent); pulses & products (-2.25 percent); and vegetables (-1.49 percent).
Among non-food products, prices increased for miscellaneous (5.68 percent vs 6.02 percent); pan, tobacco and intoxicants (4.61 percent vs 5.49 percent); housing (4.93 percent vs 5.10 percent); clothing and footwear (2.59 percent vs 2.73 percent); and fuel and light (2.42 percent vs 1.24 percent).
The corresponding provisional inflation rates for rural and urban areas were 1.80 percent and 4.10 percent, compared with February's figures of 1.81 percent and 3.43 percent respectively.
On a monthly basis, consumer prices went up 0.36 percent in March, after a 0.2 percent gain in February.