Year-on-year, prices eased for food and non-alcoholic beverages (3.5 percent compared to 3.9 percent in February), namely processed food (2.7 percent compared to 3.3 percent), unprocessed (4.3 percent compared to 4.7 percent) and meat (10.0 percent compared to 11.4 percent). Additionally, cost slowed for transport (2.8 percent compared to 3.2 percent), mainly due to fuel (2.9 percent compared to 5.1 percent); alcoholic beverages and tobacco (5.2 percent compared to 6.1 percent) and recreation and culture (0.3 percent compared to 0.5 percent). Also, prices increased at a softer pace for clothing and footwear (1.5 percent compared to 1.6 percent); restaurants and hotels (2.8 percent compared to 3.0 percent); education (6.7 percent compared to 7.0 percent) and health (5.1 percent compared to 5.7 percent). On the other hand, cost advanced faster for housing and utilities (4.6 percent compared to 4.5 percent) and household equipment (2.0 percent compared to 1.9 percent) while inflation was steady for miscellaneous goods and services (6.2 percent, the same as in February).
Annual core inflation rate, which excludes cost of food, non-alcoholic beverages, petrol and energy, was unchanged at 4.1 percent in March of 2018, below market expectations of 4.3 percent. Compared to February, core consumer prices went up 0.7 percent, easing from a 1.1 percent increase.
On a monthly basis, consumer prices advanced 0.4 percent, compared to a 0.8 percent rise in February, and below market expectations of a 0.6 percent gain.