Italy's consumer prices climbed at a faster than expected pace in March on food prices, preliminary estimate from the statistical office Istat showed Friday.
Consumer price inflation rose to 0.9 percent in March from 0.5 percent in February. Inflation was expected to rise to 0.8 percent.
The increase in inflation was driven by the trend reversal of food prices and a slower fall in unprocessed food.
On a monthly basis, consumer prices gained 0.4 percent in March, faster than the expected 0.1 percent.
Core inflation that excludes energy and unprocessed food, increased to 0.9 percent from 0.6 percent.
The EU measure of inflation, based on the Harmonized Index of Consumer Prices, accelerated to 1.1 percent from 0.5 percent a month ago. This was also above the consensus of 0.8 percent.
On a monthly basis, the HICP climbed 2.5 percent, mainly due to the conclusion of winter sales of clothing and footwear. Prices were forecast to gain 2.2 percent.