In March, prices of food increased by 1.9 percent year-on-year, much slower than a 3 percent rise in February. It is the lowest food inflation in three months as cost rose less for fresh food (6.3 percent from 12.4 percent) and fresh fruits (3.3 percent from 5.6 percent), while continued to rise for fish and seafood (4.3 percent from 4.3 percent). Meantime, prices of dairy product and eggs continued to fall (-0.3 percent from -0.3 percent).
In addition, cost went up at a slower pace for: fuel, light and water charges (4 percent from 4.3 percent, as cost of electricity increased by 5.2 percent, following a 5.8 percent rise in the prior month); medical care (1.7 percent from 1.8 percent); education (0.3 percent from 0.4 percent); culture and recreation (0.5 percent from 1.3 percent) and miscellaneous (0.5 percent from 0.6 percent). At the same time, prices were flat for clothes and footwear (from 0.3 percent), fell more for housing (-0.2 percent compared to -0.1 percent) and continued to decline for furniture and household utensils (-1.4 percent from -1.7 percent). On the other hand, prices increased more for transport & communication (1.7 percent from 1.5 percent).
Core inflation rate, which excludes fresh food, edged down to 0.9 percent from 1 percent in February, matching expectations.
On a monthly basis, consumer prices declined by 0.4 percent, following a 0.1 percent increase in the preceding month and marking the first drop since March 2017.