Year-on-year, prices slowed for electricity, gas and water supply (4.3 percent from 10.9 percent in February); food, excluding meals bought away from home (5 percent from 4.6 percent); transport (1.6 percent from 2.1 percent) and clothing and footwear (0.9 percent from 3.5 percent). In contrast, cost went up faster for housing (2.6 percent from 2.5 percent) and alcoholic drinks and tobacco (1 percent from 0.1 percent).
On a monthly basis, consumer prices edged down 0.3 percent, following a 1.3 percent gain in February.
Underlying consumer inflation, which excludes the effects of one-off government relief measures went up slightly to 2.6 percent compared with the average of 2.3 percent for January and February combined. The larger increase was mainly attributable to the Easter holidays, that began earlier this year, in late March, and resulted in a notable year-on-year increase in the charges for package tours.
A Government spokesman said that with the continued above-trend economic growth, external and local inflation pressure would rise somewhat over the course f 2018. In spite of this, inflation rate is expected to be largely contained in the near term.