Inflation in March rose to 8.5 percent (year-on-year), marginally higher from the 8.4 percent rate recorded in February, the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS said.
Food inflation, the biggest contributor to the main consumer index was 9.4 percent in March, unchanged from the previous month, the NBS said.
Data released by the NBS show that this is the fourth consecutive month of a faster increase in the Headline index to reach the highest inflation rate recorded for the year. The Headline rate for March also equals last year’s high recorded in August.
The NBS said “In March, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) which measures inflation rose by 8.5 percent (year-on-year), marginally higher from the 8.4 percent rate recorded in February.
“While the pace of increase in food prices held firm for the second consecutive month, the faster increase in the Headline index was driven by increases in the non-food COICOP divisions. This was also reflected in the Core sub-index.
“Food prices as observed by the Food Sub-index increased at relatively the same pace in March as in February; by 9.4 percent. The pace of increases was weighted upon by a slower increase in the Bread and Cereals, Oils and Fats, Dairy and Confectionary groups. Faster increases were observed in all other groups which contribute to the Food sub-index.
“The pace of advances recorded by the “All Items less Farm Produce” or Core sub-index increased for the third consecutive month in March.
“The Core Sub-index increased by 7.5 percent (year-on-year), 0.5 percentage points from 7.0 percent recorded in February. Prices increased at a faster pace in most divisions that contribute to the Core sub-index except for the Communications, and Recreational and Culture Divisions which increased at a slower pace.”
After a slight respite in February, the Headline index increased in March, increasing by 0.9 percent (month-on-month).
This was 0.2 percentage points higher from month-on-month rates recorded in February.
Prices increased at a faster pace across most COICOP divisions, with the exception being Communication which increased at a slower pace.
Urban and Rural Price Indices recorded faster increases in March, year-on-year. The Urban index increased by 8.6 percent, 0.2 percentage points from February, while the Rural index increased marginally from 8.3 percent in February to 8.4 percent in March.
On a month-on-month basis, both the Urban and Rural indices increased at a faster pace in March, increasing by 0.9 percent.
The NBS stated that the percentage change in the average composite CPI for the twelve-month period ending in March over the average of the CPI for the previous twelve-month period was 8.2 percent, marginally higher from 8.1 percent in February.


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