This content is not available in your region

Spain's 12-month inflation rises to 7.4% in Feb, fastest since 1989

Spain's February flash CPI rises to 7.4% y/y, fastest since 1989
Spain's February flash CPI rises to 7.4% y/y, fastest since 1989   -   Copyright  Thomson Reuters 2022
By Reuters

By Christina Thykjaer

MADRID -Spanish consumer prices rose well above expectations in February and reached a three-decade-high of 7.4% year-on-year, from 6.1% in January, flash data from the National Statistics Institute (INE) showed on Monday.

Sustained increases of food and non-alcoholic beverage prices and fuel costs have taken inflation to its highest point since July 1989, INE said.

The price increase “is mainly due to energy prices and the fact that we compare to a flat month last year,” Economy Minister Nadia Calvino said in an interview with radio station Cadena SER on Monday.

Analysts polled by Reuters expected 12-month consumer prices to rise to 6.8% in February.

Inflation surges in Spain and other euro zone countries are putting pressure on the European Central Bank to change its monetary policy and start phasing out its bond purchase program and raise interest rates.

The separate EU-harmonised consumer price index for Spain rose 7.5% in the 12 months to February, faster than the 6.8% expected by analysts polled by Reuters and faster than the 6.2% in January.

Core inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, was 3.0% year-on-year, up from 2.4% in January, reaching its highest rate since the financial crisis in 2008.

Calvino warned the Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last Thursday may keep inflation high in the region in the future as it triggered oil and gas price hikes.

“The price evolution is the main aspect that this war can have from an economic point of view”, Calvino said. She called for a joint European response to minimise the impact on economic growth.