Year-on-year, prices advanced at a faster pace for food & non-alcoholic beverages (2.84 percent from 1.09 percent in January); transport (10.08 percent from 9.56 percent); health (4.51 percent from 4.47 percent); and alcoholic beverages (7.71 percent from 7.33 percent). On the other hand, cost slowed for housing & utilities (8.19 percent from 12.35 percent); clothing & footwear (2.37 percent from 2.43 percent); furnishings & household equipment (2.95 percent from 3.03 percent); miscellaneous goods & services (3.15 percent from 3.16 percent); and recreation & culture (0.58 percent from 0.83 percent). Additionally, inflation was steady for restaurants & hotels (at 3.04 percent, the same as in February); communication (4.52 percent); and education (1.24 percent).
On a monthly basis, consumer prices increased 1.6 percent, after a 0.82 percent gain in February. It was the highest monthly inflation rate since April 2017, as main upward pressure came from cost of food & non-alcoholic beverages (3.30 percent from 1.70 percent), mostly due to the prevailing draught conditions causing the costs of some foodstuffs; and transport (0.42 percent from -0.50 percent), due to a rise in pump prices of petrol and diesel. Meanwhile, cost of housing & utilities fell 0.06 percent, after rising 0.12 percent in February, mainly due to lower cost of electricity which outweighed increase in house rents and cooking fuels.