Year-on-year, upward prices pressure came from: household durables & services (1.6 percent from 1.5 percent in the prior month, largely due to a 2.7 percent increase in household services & supplies); health care (2.8 percent from 2.6 percent, mainly driven by a 3.3 percent rise in medical & dental treatment and a 1.1 percent gain in medical products, appliances & equipment); transport (4.5 percent from 4.2 percent, mainly due to a 6.9 percent rise in private road transport and a 0.1 percent rise in other travel & transport); recreation & culture (0.3 percent from 0.5 percent, largely due to a 0.2 percent increase in newspapers, book & stationery and a 0.9 percent growth in holiday expenses); education (3.6 percent from 3.6 percent, due to a 3.7 percent rise in tuition & other fees and a 0.1 percent increase in school textbooks & related study guides) and miscellaneous goods & services (0.2 percent from -0.6 percent. In contrast, cost declined for: clothing & footwear (-0.9 percent from-0.2 percent); housing & utilities (-3.2 percent from -3.1 percent, largely due to a 4.0 percent drop in accommodation) and communication (-0.4 percent from 0.7 percent).
Prices of food rose 1.3 percent in March, the same as in February. Among food excluding food servicing services, cost increased for bread & cereals (0.7 percent); fish & seafood (2.3 percent); milk, cheese & eggs (0.5 percent); fruits (3.0 percent); vegetables (0.2 percent); sugar, preserves & confectionery (1.0 percent); non-alcoholic beverages (0.1 percent) and other food (0.7 percent). In contrast, prices fell for meat (-0.1 percent ) and oils & fats (-3.0 percent). Among food servicing services, prices increased for all categories: restaurant foods (1.2 percent), fast food (2.2 percent), hawker food including food courts (1.7 percent) and catered food (2.5 percent).
Core consumer prices, which exclude costs of accommodation and private road transport, went up 1.2 percent year-on-year, unchanged from the prior month.
On a month-on-month basis, consumer prices remained unchanged in March, the same as in a month earlier.