Year-on-year, prices increased at a slower pace mainly for housing & utilities (15.31 percent vs 16.36 percent in March) and transport (12.55 percent vs 15.16 percent). Also, prices softened for clothing & footwear (5.91 percent vs 10.97 percent); miscellaneous goods & services (27.47 percent vs 27.94 percent); communication (10.20 percent vs 10.49 percent) and recreation & culture (19.33 percent vs 20.08 percent).
In contrast, food inflation accelerated to its highest since at least 2004 (31.86 percent vs 29.77 percent). Additional upward pressure came from furnishings (27.64 percent vs 26.98 percent); hotels, cafes and restaurants (19.58 percent vs 19.60 percent); alcoholic beverages & tobacco (9.66 percent vs 2.71 percent), as some brands of cigarette and tobacco products hiked prices around 20% after nationwide local elections on March 31, partly reflecting the rise in the special consumption tax on cigarettes in January; health (19.75 percent vs 19.72 percent) and education (12.82 percent vs 12.17 percent).
Annual core inflation rate, which excludes energy, food and non-alcoholic beverages, alcoholic beverages, tobacco and gold, eased to a nine-month low of 16.30 percent in April 2019 from 17.53 percent in the preceding month.
On a monthly basis, consumer prices inched up 1.69 percent, after increasing 1.03 percent in the prior month but below market consensus of a 2.4 percent gain. The sharpest increases were recorded for transport (1.19 percent vs 0.75 percent); alcoholic beverages & tobacco (6.77 percent vs 0.01 percent), reflecting the recent hike in prices of cigarettes; and clothing & footwear (5.36 percent vs 0.46 percent). Meanwhile, cost slowed for food & non-alcoholic beverages (1.40 percent vs 2.44 percent).