Compared with March 2015, food prices were up 3.6 percent in March, after rising 3.9 percent in February. Prices for food purchased from stores increased 4 percent, following a 4.4 percent gain the previous month. The meat index rose 3.2 percent, its largest increase since November 2015. Prices for food purchased from restaurants were up 2.6 percent, following a 2.7 percent increase the previous month.
The transportation index decreased 1 percent in the 12 months to March, following a 0.5 percent decline in February. Lower year-over-year gasoline prices partly contributed to the decrease. The index for purchase of passenger vehicles was up 3.2 percent, after increasing 5 percent in the previous month.
The clothing and footwear index was down 0.4 percent, after decreasing 1.3 percent in February. Shoppers paid 1.8 percent less for women's clothing. Prices for children's clothing increased more on a year-over-year basis in March (+2.6 percent) than in February (+0.9 percent).
The annual core inflation rate was recorded at 2.1 percent, up from 1.9 percent February.
On a monthly basis, consumer prices rose 0.6 percent following a 0.2 percent rise in the previous month.