1.7% inflation in March

Overall consumer prices rose 1.7% in March year-on-year, less than the 2.1% average rate of increase in January and February, the Census & Statistics Department announced today.


Netting out the effects of the Government’s one-off relief measures, the year-on-year rate of increase in March’s underlying inflation rate was also 1.7%.


Compared with March last year, price increases were seen in electricity, gas and water, alcoholic drinks and tobacco, clothing and footwear, meals out and takeaway food, transport, miscellaneous services and miscellaneous goods.


On the other hand, compared to the same period last year, decreases in basic food, durable goods and housing were recorded.


The Government noted that the underlying consumer price inflation rate eased as basic food prices turned to a year-on-year decline against a high base of comparison caused by the COVID-19 epidemic-induced supply disruptions last year. 


Prices of energy-related items continued to soar year-on-year, and those of clothing and footwear as well as meals out and takeaway food rose visibly further. Price pressures on most other major components remained broadly in check.


Looking ahead, domestic cost pressures may increase alongside the improved economic situation, while external price pressures are likely to remain notable for some time.


Overall inflationary pressure may increase gradually, but should remain moderate in the near term, the Government added.