The highest upward pressure came from food cost, which accelerated to an annual 4.1 percent from 2.7 percent in February. Fruit prices rose 17.3 percent and vegetables went up 12.9 percent, while prices of pork fell for the third straight month by 6.7 percent.
Prices of consumer goods increased at a faster 2.2 percent, clothing cost accelerated slightly to 2.3 percent and healthcare prices edged up 1.2 percent.
Downward pressures came from transport, communication and tobacco (prices fell 0.4 percent and 0.7 percent year-on-year, respectively).
On a monthly basis, food prices dropped 1.6 percent and non-food cost increased 0.1 percent.
The CPI rose 2.3 percent in the first quarter of 2014 compared with the same period a year earlier, down from 2.9 percent in the previous quarter and below the government’s target of 3.5 percent inflation in 2014.