The cost of private road transport fell by 2.8 percent in March, compared with the 7.1 percent correction in the preceding month. The smaller decline reflects the dissipation of high base effects of car prices a year ago.
Accommodation cost rose by 1.7 percent in March, after increasing by 2.0 percent in February, as imputed rentals on owner-occupied accommodation inched up at a slower pace.
Services inflation edged up to 2.4 percent, from 2.1 percent in February, led by the stronger increase in the cost of household services and holiday travel.
Food inflation was 2.9 percent in March, higher than the 2.3 percent in February, mainly as a result of the dissipation of the base effects associated with Chinese New Year. The price increase for non-cooked food was steeper at 2.9 percent in March compared with 1.4 percent in the preceding month.
Prices of oil-related items fell modestly by 0.3 percent in March, following the 1.8 percent decline in February, as the lower electricity and gas tariffs were partially offset by the rise in petrol pump prices.
CPI less imputed rentals on owner-occupied accommodation rose at a faster pace of 1.1 percent in March.
MAS Core Inflation, which excludes the cost of accommodation and private road transport, rose to 2.0 percent from 1.6 percent a month ago, mainly on account of higher contributions from food prices and services costs.
On a monthly basis, the inflation rate accelerated 0.3 percent, following a 0.1 percent drop in the previous period.