Mexico's consumer price index rose 0.27 percent in March, compared to the previous month, pushing the inflation rate over the past 12 months to 3.76 percent, the National Institute of Statistics and Geography, or INEGI, said.

The core inflation rate, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, rose 0.21 percent, with the core inflation rate over the past 12 months reaching 2.89 percent, the INEGI said in a statement.

The biggest price increases occurred in the agricultural and ranching products categories, up 0.42 percent and 0.89 percent, respectively, and in energy products, which rose 0.56 percent, the INEGI said.

Limes, up 41.2 percent; avocados, which rose 12.7 percent; and other fruits, up 10.1 percent, registered the largest price hikes; while prickly pears, down 16.8 percent; papayas, down 14.9 percent; and tomatoes, down 14.3 percent, experienced the biggest price drops.

Consumer prices rose 3.97 percent last year, while the inflation rate was 3.57 percent in 2012.

The Bank of Mexico has set an inflation target of 3 percent, with a range of plus or minus 1 percent, so the latest numbers are within the acceptable range.

The government is forecasting economic growth of 3.9 percent for this year and expects a rebound from the tepid 1.1 percent growth experienced in 2013.

Mexico's gross domestic product (GDP) grew 3.9 percent in 2012.

Producer prices, meanwhile, rose 0.08 percent in March, compared to the previous month, while the producer price index rose 2.2 percent in the past 12 months, the INEGI said. EFE