Year-on-year, prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages rose by 5.35 percent (from +3.78 percent in January), hitting its fastest pace since April last year; and cost of housing and utilities increased by 1.63 percent (from +1.52 percent in the previous month). Additional upward pressure came from: health (+4.45 percent); restaurants and hotels (+4.25 percent); education (+4.17 percent); furnishings and household equipment (+3.79 percent); and clothing and footwear (+3.05 percent). By contrast, cost of communication dropped further by 9.20 percent.
On a monthly basis, consumer prices went up by 0.44 percent, following a 0.38 percent growth in the previous month, boosted by higher prices of clothing and footwear (+1.27 percent), food (+1.01 percent) and housing (+0.24 percent); while cost of communication (-0.29 percent) and transportation (-0.07) held back growth.
The core index, which strips out some volatile food and energy prices rose 0.44 percent on the month, bringing the annual rate to 2.66 percent, from 0.38 percent and 2.64 percent respectively in January.