Consumer prices in Seychelles rose 0.5 percent in March, pushing the year-on-year rate of inflation higher for the third straight month to 6.5 percent from 6.2 percent a month earlier, official data showed on Friday. The Victoria government has said inflation is the biggest risk facing the import-dependent Indian Ocean archipelago’s economy. Food prices excluding fish rose 0.8 percent month-on-month while non-food costs rose 0.4 percent, led by a 2.1 percent increase in the price of alcoholic beverages, the National Bureau of Statistics said. Transport costs bucked the trend, falling 0.9 percent during the month of March. Seychelles introduced a raft of steps to liberalise its once highly-controlled economy after defaulting on a eurobond interest payment in 2008 due to a balance of payments crisis sparked by unsustainable state spending and the global financial turmoil. But it still faces challenges to shore up its ability to resist external shocks, the International Monetary Fund said in January, noting that monetary tightening was combating inflationary pressures emanating from higher energy prices.