Year-on-year, prices eased for food and non-alcoholic beverages (0.8 percent compared to 1.1 percent in February); and recreation and culture (2.7 percent compared to 3.1 percent). Also, cost of clothing and footwear dropped at a softer pace (-1.6 percent compared to -2.0 percent). On the other hand, prices went up further for transport (3.3 percent compared to 3.1 percent); furniture, household equipment and maintenance (0.6 percent compared to 0.3 percent); restaurants and hotels (2.8 percent compared to 2.6 percent); miscellaneous goods and services (0.6 percent compared to 0.2 percent); health (2.5 percent compared to 2.4 percent); communication (3.7 percent compared to 3.6 percent); and alcoholic beverages and tobacco (5.2 percent compared to 5.1 percent). Additionally, inflation was steady for housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels (at 1.2 percent, the same as in February); and education (at 3.1 percent).
The consumer prices index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH) was at 1.8 percent in March, unchanged from the prior month.
The annual core inflation rate, which excludes prices of energy, food, alcohol and tobacco, rose by 1.8 percent, the same as in February and slightly below market consensus of 1.9 percent.
On a monthly basis, consumer prices advanced 0.2 percent, slowing from a 0.5 percent gain in the previous month and below market consensus of 0.3 percent. Prices eased for food and non-alcoholic beverages (0.1 percent compared to 0.4 percent in February); furniture and household equipment (0.1 percent compared to 2.0 percent); and miscellaneous goods and services (0.2 percent compared to 0.7 percent). In addition, cost fell for transport (-0.1 percent compared to 0.4 percent) and alcoholic beverages and tobacco (-0.3 percent compared to 0.9 percent).