Year-on-year, prices fell for: transport (-2.7 percent in March from -3.7 percent in January, mainly due to a 4.0 percent drop in private road transport) and housing & utilities (-2.7 percent from -2.6 percent, mainly due to a 5.9 percent decline in fuel & utilities and a 2.2 percent fall in accommodation). Prices moderated for household durables & services (+1.6 percent from +1.9 percent), education (+3.5 percent from +3.6 percent) and miscellaneous goods & services (+0.2 percent from +1.4 percent).
While cost declined for clothing & footwear (-0.8 percent from 0.0 percent) and healthcare (-0.2 percent from 0.2 percent increase), prices increased for communication (+2.5 percent from+3.6 percent) and recreation & culture (+0.5 percent from +0.3 percent, mainly due to a 2.0 percent increase in newspapers, books & stationery).
Food inflation was recorded at 2.1 percent in March, slowing from a 2.5 percent rise in the previous month. Food excluding food servicing services increased by 2.0 from 3.2 percent rise in February and food servicing services rose 2.1 percent from 2.2 percent. Among food excluding food servicing services, prices increased the most for other food (4.0 percent), followed by fish & seafood (3.9 percent); milk, cheese & eggs (+2.7 percent); vegetables (+2.3 percent); oils & fats (+1.9 percent), fruits (+1.9 percent) and sugar, preserves & confectionery (+0.1 percent). Among food servicing services, prices rose for all components: restaurant foods (+2.2 percent), fast food (+2.1 percent), hawker food including food courts (+2.1 percent) and catered food (+1.4 percent).
Core inflation, which excludes costs of accommodation and private road transport, recorded at 1.0 percent year-on-year, easing from a 1.3 percent in February.
On a month-on-month basis, consumer prices increased 0.2 percent in March, following a 0.1 percent rise in the previous month. Price increased the most for housing & utilities (+2.3 percent), transport (+1.7 percent, mainly due to a 3.1 percent increase in private road transport), communication (+1.0 percent), recreation & culture (+0.1 percent), health care (+0.1 percent, mainly due to a 0.3 percent increase in medical & dental treatment). In contrast, prices fell for clothing & footwear (-0.3 percent), household durables & services (-0.2 percent) and education (-0.1 percent).