Inflation hit 1.7 percent in March

Inflation has gathered pace according to new official figures, with overall consumer prices rising 1.7 percent year-on-year in March, with the cost of basic food items such as fresh vegetables seeing the most significant increases.

The first two months of the year had seen an average increase of 1.4 percent.

Netting out the effects of all the government’s one-off relief measures, the underlying inflation rate was also 1.7 percent in March, 0.1 percentage points higher than in February.

The government said consumer prices were mainly driven up by increased basic food costs, especially fresh vegetables, while prices of energy-related items and transport also saw visible increases.

Of the various components of the Composite Consumer Price Index, basic food prices saw the largest increase in March year-on-year, at 7.6 percent.

Transport prices rose 4.9 percent, while prices of clothing and footwear rose 4.3 percent.

Nevertheless, the government said it expects overall inflation to remain under control in the near term.

“Looking ahead, inflation in many major economies may stay high in the near term amid heightened geopolitical risks and supply and transportation bottlenecks, leading to faster increases in prices of imported items. Yet, overall inflation should remain largely in check as domestic rentals stay soft.”