In December, the interannual rate of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) accelerates four tenths to 0.8%. Despite this upturn, it can be said that inflation remains at very contained levels, confirming the absence of inflationary pressures in the Spanish economy.
In addition, core inflation also remains very moderate, registering the same annual rate as in the previous three months (1.0%). Analyzing its components, it is observed that all of them continue to show very moderate increases. Thus, the prices of services increase by one tenth their rate of variation, up to 1.6%, while processed foods, beverages and tobacco decrease by one tenth to 0.8% and the prices of industrial goods without products energy decrease two tenths to 0.2%.
The prices of unprocessed foods increase their variation rate by two tenths and stand at 2.9%. Fresh fruits are the rubric that has a greater impact on this increase, since their prices decrease less this December than in the same month of 2018, although the greater increase in the prices of pork and other meat also influences this increase. meats.
Energy prices in the month of December, although they continue to show declines, moderate their rate of decline. Specifically, the interannual rate in this month of the prices of energy products has been -2.1%, more than three percentage points less than in the previous month. This is due to the increase in the prices of fuels and fuels, while electricity has fallen this month and gas remains stable.
Regarding the price of oil, the OPEC + agreement to reduce its production from January 2020 made it begin to increase since November. In December, Brent crude stood at $ 69.1 / barrel on a monthly average, 22.8% higher than the previous year. In euros the increase was 25.9% due to a certain depreciation of the currency in this period. In early January, the assassination of the Iranian military leader by the United States and the subsequent attack on American military bases generated geopolitical tensions that caused oil to rebound even more. However, in recent days it has already begun to decline, bringing the monthly average of January at 68 dollars / barrel, which would mean an increase of 15.3% over the previous year, although it surely ends up being something lower not to intensify tensions.
The Harmonized Consumer Price Index stood at 0.8% in December, three tenths more than in November, and the average Economic and Monetary Union index also increased three tenths to 1.3%, according to the indicator Eurostat advanced. Thus, the differential with the euro zone accumulates 14 months in negative.
In 2019, average inflation in Spain was 0.7%, compared to the average annual inflation rate for the whole Euro Zone of 1.2%. This improvement in price competitiveness, via inflation moderation, should be accompanied by the containment of other costs (fiscal, labor …) and economic policy measures that favor the growth of the productivity of the Spanish economy.