In March, prices rose less for housing, water, electricity, gas & other fuels (1.3 percent from 1.4 percent in February); food & non-alcoholic beverages (1.5 percent from 2.2 in February); restaurants & hotels (2.5 percent from 2.8 percent); recreation & culture (0.4 percent from 0.5 percent) and alcoholic beverages & tobacco (0.3 percent from 0.5 percent).
Meanwhile, inflation was steady for clothing & footwear (1.3 percent); furnishing, household equipment & routine maintenance (2.9 percent) and education (1.2 percent). On the other hand, cost went up at a faster pace for transport (1.4 percent from 1.3 percent); health (0.6 percent from 0.4 percent) and miscellaneous goods & services (0.3 percent from 0.1 percent). Also, cost rebounded for communication (0.4 percent from -0.2 percent).
For 2018, the Bank of Korea sees inflation at 1.7 percent.
Core CPI, which excludes oil and agricultural products, increased by 1.3 percent in February, following a 1.2 percent gain in a month earlier.
On a monthly basis, consumer prices dropped 0.1 percent, after a 0.8 percent rise in the previous month while markets estimated a 0.2 percent increase.