Year-on-year prices rose faster for transport (3.0 percent vs 1.8 percent in February), mostly due to fuels (6.3 percent vs 4.2 percent); housing & utilities (2.1 percent vs 0.9 percent), driven by electricity & gas (3.6 percent vs 0.7 percent); miscellaneous goods & services (1.5 percent vs 1.4 percent) and for clothing & footwear (0.9 percent vs 0.8 percent).
On the other hand, cost slowed for food & non-alcoholic beverages (0.9 percent vs 1.4 percent), led by fresh pulses & vegetables (5.9 percent vs 7.8 percent); communications (1.4 percent vs 1.5 percent) and alcoholic beverages & tobacco (1.0 percent vs 1.2 percent). Also, inflation was steady for hotels, cafes & restaurants (at 1.8 percent); health (at 0.9 percent); education (at 1 percent) and furnishings (at 0.6 percent). Meantime, prices for recreation & culture continued to fall (-1.6 percent, the same pace as in February).
Annual core inflation, which excludes volatile items such as food and energy, came at 0.7 percent, the same as in February. It was the lowest rate since July 2016.
On a monthly basis, consumer prices rose 0.4 percent, following a 0.2 percent gain in February and matching an earlier estimate and market expectations. In particular, cost for clothing & footwear rebounded sharply (4.4 percent vs -1.5 percent), due to the beginning of the new season.
The harmonized index of consumer prices advanced 1.3 percent year-on-year (from 1.1 percent in February), and increased 1.4 percent from the previous month (from 0.2 percent in February).