Year-on-year, cost for food rose 1.6 percent (from 0.6 percent in Q4 2016), boosted by a 4.4 percent gain in prices for fruit and vegetables.
Transport prices went up 3.5 percent (from -1 percent in Q4), with petrol (12 percent) partially offset by falls in other private transport services (vehicle relicensing fees).
Housing-related prices continued to grow, up 3.3 percent in the March 2017 year, the same rise as in the previous period. Prices increased for newly built houses, excluding land (6.7 percent), and for housing rentals (2.3 percent). Newly built houses, excluding land, were up 8 percent in Auckland and 3.6 percent in Christchurch.
Tradable prices increased 1.6 percent (from -0.1 percent in Q4), while prices for non-tradables advanced 2.5 percent (from 2.4 percent in Q4).
Excluding petrol, and cigarettes and tobacco, the CPI showed a 1.5 percent gain.
On a quarterly basis, consumer prices rose 1 percent, following a 0.4 percent increase in the previous period and above market expectations of a 0.8 percent gain. Prices of alcoholic beverages and tobacco rebounded 4 percent following a 0.3 percent decline in the previous quarter. The food group also rebounded 2.2 percent from 1.2 percent fall in December of 2016 quarter. Meanwhile, prices in the transport group grew at a softer pace of 0.8 percent (from 3.7 percent in the previous quarter).