The inflation rate stayed below government’s 5 percent target for the fourth straight month in March after touching a 4-1/2-year low of 4 percent in January of 2015.
Year-on-year, food prices rose 5.9 percent in March, after increasing 4.9 percent in the previous two months, boosted by increase in cost of rice and vegetables (5 percent and 5.3 percent, respectively).
Additional upward pressures came from: housing, water, electricity and gas (3.6 percent); clothing and footwear (3.7 percent); furnishings and household equipment (1.0 percent); restaurants and hotels (5.1 percent); miscellaneous goods and services (4.8 percent); and alcoholic beverages and tobacco (5.4 percent). On the other hand, the biggest price decrease was reported for transport (- 2.4 percent).
On a monthly basis, the consumer price index increased by 0.7 percent, easing from a 1.6 percent rise in the previous month, due to falls in transport prices (-1.1 percent), housing, water, electricity and gas (-2.1 percent) and furnishings and household equipment (-0.3 percent).