Year-on-year, prices rose at a slower pace for: housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels (2.1 percent vs 2.2 percent in February); clothing and footwear (2.5 percent vs 3.9 percent); and furniture, household equipment and maintenance (2.5 percent vs 3.4 percent). In addition, miscellaneous goods and services prices fell 0.1 percent, following a 0.8 percent increase in the previous month, due to a decline in cost of personal care (-1.6 percent vs -0.4 percent), financial services (-3 percent vs -2.8 percent) and other services (-1.9 percent, the same as in February).
Meanwhile, inflation was unchanged for restaurants and hotels (at 2.5 percent) and food and non-alcoholic beverages (at 3 percent); and picked up for transport (3 percent vs 2.8 percent) and recreation and culture (3.3 percent vs 3 percent).
The consumer prices index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH) rose by 2.3 percent in March, easing from a 2.5 percent increase in February.
The annual core inflation rate, which excludes prices of energy, food, alcohol and tobacco, declined to 2.3 percent
in March from 2.4 percent in February, also below market consensus of 2.5 percent. It was the lowest rate in one year.
On a monthly basis, consumer prices edged up 0.1 percent in March after increasing 0.4 percent in February, and compared with expectations of a 0.3 percent gain. Prices rose for recreation and culture (0.6 percent), restaurants and hotels (0.3 percent), housing and utilities (0.1 percent) and food and non-alcoholic beverages (0.4 percent).