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MNB gauges of underlying inflation little changed in March, in spite of big headline drop

The National Bank of Hungary's year-on-year “underlying inflation indicators” were little changed in March, in spite of a sharp drop in headline CPI. The indicator for core inflation excluding indirect tax effects was 1.7% in March, level with February. The indicator for demand-sensitive inflation, which excludes processed foods from core inflation, edged down to 1.7% from 1.8%. The indicator for sticky price inflation, which includes items for which retail prices vary on average no more than 15% a month, inched up to 1.7% from 1.6%. Headline inflation for March, published by the Central Statistics Office (KSH) on Thursday, came in at 2.2%. The slowdown, from 2.8% in February and 3.7% in January, was largely supported by a 10% cut in household electricity, gas and district heating prices mandated by the government from the start of the year.