This was lower than analyst expectations for a 2.6% increase following the 2.7% growth in the previous month.
The consumer price index rose 2.2% annually in the March quarter.
The statistical bureau also said that producer prices surged 5.9% annually in March. This also came below expectations for a 6.4% increase.
In the first three months of the year, producer prices went up 5.2% from a year earlier.