By Chester Yung

Hong Kong's composite consumer-price index rose 0.5% in March from a year earlier amid a slower increase in food prices, the Census and Statistics Department said Friday, expecting inflation pressure to stay moderate in the near term.

March's CPI rise was lower than the average 0.6% rise in January and February, and it was below the median 0.7% rise forecast by five economists surveyed earlier by The Wall Street Journal. The comparison to the average rate of increase in January and February is to neutralize the effect from the different timing of the Lunar New Year each year.

The Hong Kong government expects the headline CPI to rise by 1.8% this year, down from the 2.4% increase in 2016.

Write to Chester Yung at chester.yung@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 21, 2017 04:59 ET (08:59 GMT)

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