The largest upward contribution to the CPI came from: housing & utilities (4.3 percent from 4 percent in February), mainly due to higher rents and mortgage interest repayments in addition to an increase in the price of gas, electricity and home heating oil; restaurants & hotels (3.6 percent, the same as in February) due to higher prices for alcoholic drinks and food consumed in licensed premises, restaurants, cafes etc. and an increase in the cost of hotel accommodation; alcoholic beverages & tobacco (3.1 percent from 2.7 percent) mainly due to higher prices for tobacco products and education (1.7 percent, the same as in February).
On the other hand, prices fell for: furnishings, household equipment & routine household maintenance (-3.2 percent from -3.7 percent) due to the reduced cost of furniture & furnishings, non-durable household goods and household textiles, communications (-2.9 percent from -1.9 percent) due to a reduction in the cost of telephone & telefax equipment, clothing & footwear (-1.7 percent, the same as in February) and miscellaneous goods & services (-1 percent from -1.7 percent) mainly due to lower motor insurance premiums and a reduction in prices for appliances, articles & products for personal care and other personal effects. This reduction was partially offset by higher prices for hairdressing salons & personal grooming establishments.
Annual core inflation, which excludes energy and unprocessed food, went up to 0.9 percent in March from 0.6 percent in February.
On a monthly basis, consumer prices went up 0.8 percent, the same as in the previous month. The largest upward contribution to the CPI in the month were transport (+0.45%), restaurants & hotels (+0.16%) and housing & utilities (+0.10%) while the divisions which caused the largest downward contribution in the month were communications (-0.03%) and furnishings, household equipment & routine household maintenance (-0.02%).
The harmonised index of consumer prices rose by 1.1 percent from the previous year; and increased by 0.8 percent from the previous month.