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Inflation in Malta stood still in March, standing at 0.1 per cent, according to a report released by the National Statistics Office (NSO) on Friday.

While the price of fruit, health services and video games increased slightly in March, this was cancelled out by a drop in the prices of accommodation services, the organisation says.

The month’s 0.1 per cent inflation rate, as measured by the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP), was the same as that recorded in February, the NSO report shows.

The 12-month moving average inflation rate for March stood at 0.5 per cent.

The largest upward impact on annual inflation was measured in the category of Food and Non-alcoholic index, which contributed 0.12 per cent to the inflation, though this was neutralised by the major downward pressures exerted by the Restaurants and Hotels Index which contributed -0.23 per cent, and the Transport Index, which contributed -0.11 per cent.

Malta’s low inflation bucks the trend elsewhere in the euro area, where inflation bounced to 0.9 per cent.

According to HICP indices cited in the report, Clothing and Footwear prices in Malta increased by 12.2 per cent in March when compared to February. Though this was only an increase of 0.5 per cent on the figure for March 2020.

Prices in the Restaurants and Hotels category reflected a similar trend, rising 3.6 per cent in March compared to February, which reflected a 0.4 per cent decline since the same month the year before.

The HICP is used to compare inflation rates across EU countries by measuring monthly price changes in the cost of purchasing a representative basket of consumer goods and services.

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