March sees 0.5% inflation

Overall consumer prices rose 0.5% in March year-on-year, less than the average 1.1% increase in January and February, the Census & Statistics Department announced today.   Netting out the effects of the Government's one-off relief measures, March's underlying inflation rate rose 0.2% year-on-year, more than the average change of -0.3% in January and February.   The department said the rise was mainly due to the increases in the costs for meals bought away from home and the prices of pork.   March saw year-on-year price increases for electricity, gas and water, food, meals bought away from home, alcoholic drinks and tobacco as well as miscellaneous services.   Prices for transport, durable goods, miscellaneous goods and housing went down.   The Government said that underlying consumer prices reverted to a small year-on-year rise mainly due to a faster increase in food prices.   Meanwhile, private housing rentals fell further and price pressures on other major CPI components remained tame.

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