Year-on-year, prices of services less energy (3 percent compared to 3.1 percent in February), namely shelter (3.2 percent compared to 3.3 percent in February) and medical care (3.6 percent compared to 3.9 percent in February) grew at a slower pace and food inflation eased (0.8 percent compared to 0.9 percent in February). In contrast, cost of transportation services (2.8 percent) increased at the same pace as in February. Pries of energy shrank 12.6 percent following a 12.5 percent decline in the previous month.
Annual core inflation which excludes food and energy eased for the first time in ten months to 2.2 percent from 2.3 percent in February.
On a monthly basis, consumer prices rose 0.1 percent, recovering from a 0.2 percent drop in the previous month. The energy index rose for the first time since November, with all of its major components except natural gas increasing. The food index fell 0.2 percent after rising in February, as five of the six major grocery store food groups declined.
Excluding food and energy, consumer prices edged up 0.1 percent, the smallest increase since August. The indexes for shelter, recreation, medical care, education, tobacco, and personal care were among those that rose, while the indexes for apparel, airline fares, communication, household furnishings and operations, and used cars and trucks all declined.