Year-on-year, energy cost decreased by 5.7 percent, following a 7.3 percent fall in February. Prices were down for: heating oil (-19.1 percent), motor fuels (-8.8 percent), gas (-1.2 percent) and electricity (-0.2 percent).
Cost of food and non-alcoholic beverages decreased by 0.1 percent, following a 0.2 percent decline in the preceding month (including food -0.1 percent). Prices declined for edible fats and oil (-4.6 percent; including butter -7.6 percent) and for dairy products and eggs (-2.4 percent; including UHT milk -9.4 percent). Consumers had to pay less for fruits (-1.3 percent) and meat and meat products (-0.8 percent). Prices were markedly up for confectionery (+3.9 percent, including chocolate slabs +16.1 percent). Prices also rose slightly for bread and cereals (+1.6 percent), fish and fish products (+1.1 percent) and vegetables (+0.4 percent).
Cost of goods as a whole fell by 0.8 percent while cost of services increased by 1.2 percent. Among goods, lower prices were recorded for telephones (-8.1 percent) and consumer electronics (-6.2 percent).Consumers had to pay higher prices than a year earlier, for coffee, tea and cocoa (+10.8 percent), including coffee +17.5 percent), newspapers and periodicals (+5.9 percent) and tobacco products (+2.9 percent).Among services, higher cost were seen for net rents exclusive of heating expenses (+1.3 percent), passenger transport (of which taxi ride +11.4 percent), hairdresser services and other services for personal care (+3.3 percent) and catering services in restaurants, cafes and the like (+2.7 percent). In contrast, cost declined for package holidays (-2.3 percent) and stelecommunication services (-1.1 percent.
On a monthly basis, consumer prices rose 0.5 percent in March. Prices increases were seen for clothing (+6.1 percent), footwear (+8.3 percent) and energy (+1.4 percent: heating oil +1.9 percent) and motor fuels +4.2 percent, including supergrade petrol +4.8 percent, diesel fuel +3.4 percent). In contrast, cost declined for package holidays (-3.0 percent) and food (-0.1 percent, including vegetables -1.8 percent).
The harmonized index of consumer prices (HICP) increased by 0.1 percent in March of 2015 over the same month last year. Compared with the previous month, the index was up 0.5 percent.