The main downward pressure on the cost of living last month came from air fares, which fell by 3.9 per cent between February and March after jumping by 22.9 per cent previous year.
NISR attributed this to rising prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages which increased by 16.0 per cent and 2.5 per cent, respectively.
This means that real wage growth - the increase once the effect of inflation has been deducted - was just 0.2 per cent overall and 0.1 per cent for those not paid a bonus in February.
Sterling slipped back after the CPI announcement, before regaining composure in afternoon trading to rise 0.1% against the U.S. dollar at 1.243 and push marginally higher versus the euro at 1.172.
Food prices, the biggest component of the consumer price index (CPI), fell by 4.4 percent. This year's target has been left unchanged.
CPI held at 2.3% year-on-year last month, according to the Office for National Statistics, as increases in clothing and food prices were offset by a decline in airfares due to the timing of Easter.
Stocks such as pharmaceuticals, utilities and healthcare - which provide products and services that consumers rely upon - are most likely to weather any possible impact of rising inflation, he said.
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Although he has retained the crucial support of the army so far, that could be changing, political analyst Luis Salamanca said. The court later reversed the rulings after an global outcry, but kept in place other measures limiting the assembly's powers.
Wednesday's reading follows data showing a further expansion in factory activity driven by a pickup in production and demand last month, while economic growth came in slightly better than expected at the end of 2016. British consumers have been the main driver of growth for the United Kingdom economy in recent years and a fall in spending levels could cause a major slowdown in GDP growth at a time when inflation is accelerating, giving the Bank of England limited scope to act.
Also in April, increases in taxes on air passengers and vehicle owners are kicking in and many utility companies are raising their prices too.
Separate ONS figures published earlier this month revealed that household savings rates hit a record low as consumers plundered their nest eggs to keep spending despite rising inflation. The costs of garments, healthcare, housing and education, entertainment and transport rose remarkably.
"Based on the latest figures inflation already surpassed wage growth at the start of the year and labour market data out tomorrow are set to confirm that real wages are falling", Ms Skero added.
The annual rate of wage increases was flat compared to January.
That should give China's central bank confidence to continue with gradual monetary policy tightening as it tries to coax companies to reduce high levels of debt, ANZ economists said, predicting further hikes in short-term interest rates this year.