• The underlying rate, which excludes the most volatile elements of the CPI, falls two tenths, to stand at 1%

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased 1.9% year-on-year in May 2017, seven tenths less than in April, according to figures published by the National Statistics Institute (INE), a rate that coincides with that advanced by the INE at the end of last month. In this evolution, the decrease in the prices of fuels and lubricants, as well as the decrease in the prices of tourist packages, after the end of the Holy Week campaign, stand out. In inter-monthly terms, the CPI has decreased 0.1% in May, compared to the 0.5% rise in the same month of 2016.

The prices of energy products increased in May by 8.3% year-on-year, 3.7 points less than in April. This evolution is explained by the slowdown in the prices of fuels and lubricants, which went from 11.5% year-on-year in April to 4.9% in May. On the other hand, gas prices accelerated 1.7 points, up to 8.3%, and the interannual rate of electricity prices remained unchanged at 16.2%.

Food prices grew 1.2% in May, as in April. Inflation of unprocessed food stood at 2.8%, six tenths below that of the previous month, highlighting the evolution of prices for fresh vegetables (3.8 points slowed down to 3, 3%) and, to a lesser extent, fresh fruits (they went from 5% in April to 3.2% in May). The prices of processed food, beverages and tobacco increased 0.4% in May, two tenths more than in April, highlighting the behavior of oils and fats, which increased from 0.5% in April to 2.3% in May.

Core inflation (which excludes unprocessed food and energy, which are the most volatile elements of the CPI) decreased two tenths in May, to 1%, due to the slowdown in service prices and, to a lesser extent , of non-energy industrial goods (BINE), partially offset by the higher growth rate of processed food prices. Services slowed down four tenths, up to 1.7%, as a result of the evolution of tourist packages, whose prices increased from 20.9% in April to 7.9% in May. This behavior has influenced the calendar effect of Holy Week, which in 2017 was held in April, while in 2016 it was held in March. On the other hand, BINE prices slowed down two tenths, up to 0.1%, highlighting the behavior of clothing and footwear prices, which increased from 0.3% in April to 0.1% in May .

In inter-monthly terms, the CPI registered a variation rate of -0.1% in May 2017, compared to the 0.5% growth recorded in the same month of 2016. By components, the prices of energy products fell by 1.1%, after the 2.3% increase a year earlier; those of the services decreased 0.4%, after the 0.1% increase in May 2016; those of the BINE grew 0.7%, one tenth less than in May of the previous year; and those of food increased 0.3%, the same variation as in May 2016.

Within the food group, prices of unprocessed foods recorded in May 2017 an inter-monthly rate of 0.3% (0.8% in the same month of 2016), as well as those for processed foods (null variation a year before).

The interannual rate of the CPI decreased in May in all the autonomous communities. The largest decrease with respect to the April rate was recorded in the Principality of Asturias (one point, up to 1.6%), and the lowest, both of three tenths, corresponded to the Canary Islands (2% in May) and Extremadura (1 , 7%).

The interannual rate of the CPI at constant taxes stood at 1.9% in May, as was that of the general CPI.

The INE has also published the harmonized CPI (IPCA) corresponding to the month of May 2017, whose interannual variation rate stands at 2%, six tenths lower than in April. On the other hand, the rate advanced by Eurostat for the euro zone as a whole stood at 1.4% in May, half a point lower than that of the previous month, resulting in an inflation differential for Spain with respect to the euro zone of 0 , 6 points, one tenth lower than April.

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