Year-on-year, prices soared for transport (6.4 percent vs 3.6 percent in February), mainly pushed up by fuels (8.8 percent vs 0.9 percent). Additional upward pressure came from cost of food & non-alcoholic beverages (3.1 percent vs 2.9 percent); alcoholic beverages & tobacco (6.4 percent vs 4.6 percent); clothing & footwear (1.9 percent vs 1.8 percent); restaurants & hotels (4.4 percent vs 4.1 percent) and health (5.3 percent vs 4.3 percent).
Meanwhile, inflation slowed for housing & utilities (4.5 percent vs 5.3 percent) and it remained steady for miscellaneous goods & services (at 5.4 percent); household contents and services (at 3.5 percent); recreation & culture (at 1.2 percent) and communicatiion (at 1.5 percent).
Annual core inflation rate, which excludes cost of food, non-alcoholic beverages, fuel and energy, stood at 4.4 percent for the fifth consecutive month and slightly below market expectations of 4.5 percent. Compared to the previous month, core consumer prices increased 0.7 percent, following a 1.1 percent rise in February.
On a monthly basis, consumer prices went up 0.8 percent, the same pace as in the previous month and in line with market expectations.