Year-on-year, cost fell for food & non-alcoholic beverages (-0.4 percent vs 1.3 percent in January), driven by unprocessed food (-3.2 percent vs 0.4 percent). Also, cost of housing & utilities grew at a slower pace (2.6 percent vs 3.1 percent), as prices rose less for regulated energy products (5.2 percent vs 6.4 percent) and non-regulated energy ones (2.1 percent vs 2.5 percent).
In contrast, prices continued to advance at a faster pace for: transport (1.7 percent vs 1.6 percent); restaurants & hotels (1.2 percent vs 1 percent) and furnishings (0.3 percent vs 0.1 percent). Meantime, inflation remained steady for miscellaneous goods & services (1.6 percent); recreation & culture (1.2 percent) and alcoholic beverages & tobacco (1.3 percent).
On a monthly basis, consumer prices are expected to edge up 0.1 percent, following a 0.3 percent increase in January and slightly below market expectations of a 0.2 percent gain.
Annual core inflation rate, which excludes energy and unprocessed food, is set to rise to 0.7 percent, the most in five months, from 0.6 percent in January. Excluding only energy, the inflation should ease to 0.3 percent from 0.6 percent in the prior month.
The harmonized index dropped 0.3 percent on the month (from -1.5 percent in January) and went up 0.7 percent on the year (1.2 percent in January).