Transport prices increased at a much slower 4.5 percent, following an 8.7 percent rise in February, namely petrol (up 3.8 percent from 20.7 percent in February). In addition, prices of housing and utilities (up 6.4 percent 6.6 percent in February), miscellaneous goods and services (up 6.7 percent from 6.8 percent in February) and education (up 4.6 percent from 9.3 percent in February) slowed. In contrast, cost of food and non-alcoholic beverages accelerated (up 9.5 percent from 7 percent in February).
Annual core inflation rate, which excludes prices of food, non-alcoholic beverages, petrol and energy came in at 5.4 percent, the lowest in three months
On a monthly basis, consumer prices rose 0.8 percent, easing from a 1.4 percent gain in February. The biggest upward pressure came from prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages (up 1.6 percent from 2.1 percent in February), namely fruit, bread and cereals, sugar, sweets and desserts and oils and fats. Housing and utilities increased 0.8 percent (0 percent in February) mainly due to actual rentals for housing and owners’ equivalent rent. Downward pressure came from prices of transport (down 0.8 percent from a 0.5 percent rise in February), mainly due to petrol price.