South Korea's inflation eased in March to a 20-month low as the the government strove to curb price rises, official figures showed Monday.
Statistics Korea said the consumer price index increased 2.6 percent in March, compared with a year earlier, slowing from a 3.1 percent rise in February. The index fell 0.1 percent in March from February.
Core inflation, which strips out volatile oil and food costs, grew 1.9 percent from a year earlier compared to a 2.5 percent increase the previous month.
The government forecasts 2012 inflation at 3.2 percent while the central bank sees it at 3.3 percent.
Last month's reading is the lowest since July 2010. The statistical office attributed it to greater state support for child care and increased free lunch programmes for children at government schools.
But the finance ministry struck a cautious note, saying uncertainties remain over global oil prices and local agricultural produce prices.