Consumer prices posted an unrevised 1.0 percent monthly bounce in the final data for March. However, the annual inflation rate was still revised a tick firmer and, at 1.6 percent, was up 0.4 percentage points from its final February mark.
The final HICP matched its flash estimates and so still shows a 1.1 percent increase versus mid-quarter and a 1.7 percent yearly rate, also 0.4 percentage points higher than last time.
The acceleration in the annual CPI rate was largely due to a sharper rise in services (1.4 percent after 1.1 percent) where package holiday inflation jumped from 0.6 percent to 16.2 percent due to a shift in school holidays. This impact should prove only temporary. Otherwise, food (1.5 percent after 0.8 percent) and tobacco 16.6 percent after 4.9 percent) which was hit by an increase in taxes, also provided significant support. By contrast, manufacturing (minus 0.3 percent after 0.1 percent) dipped back into deflationary territory.
Prices are seasonally strong in March but even adjusted for such factors the CPI rose a firm 0.5 percent on the month. However, at least part of this will reflect temporary or one-off factors and the underlying picture remains soft. The core CPI was up 0.3 percent versus February which put its yearly rate at 0.9 percent, just a tick higher than last time.