• The celebration of Easter drives up the prices of tourist services and hospitality

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased in March 2018 by 1.2% year-on-year, according to figures published by the National Statistics Institute (INE), a rate identical to that advanced by the INE and one tenth higher than that registered in February (1.1%). This evolution is explained by the acceleration in food prices and, to a lesser extent, in services, partially offset by the slight fall in non-energy industrial goods (BINE), after the zero variation of the previous month, and by the slower growth rate of energy prices. In month-on-month terms, the CPI registered an increase of 0.1% in March 2018, compared to the stabilization of the same month in 2017.

The prices of energy products grew 1.3% year-on-year in March, one tenth less than in February, due to the 1.4% drop in electricity prices, after the 0.5% rise in the previous month , and, to a lesser extent, the slowdown in gas prices, which slowed the pace of growth by 1.1 points, to 6.6%. On the other hand, the prices of fuels and lubricants went from growing 0.7% year-on-year in February to 1.6% in March, and those of liquid fuels increased 1.8%, after the decrease of 1.9 % in February.

Food inflation stood at 1.4% in March, four tenths higher than in the previous month. The prices of unprocessed food grew 1.6%, 1.3 points more than in the previous month, mainly due to the lower drop in the prices of fresh vegetables (-3.4%, after the drop of 10.6% in the previous month). The prices of processed food, beverages and tobacco slowed one tenth, to 1.3% year-on-year.

Core inflation (which excludes unprocessed food and energy products, the most volatile elements of the CPI) increased in March by one tenth, to 1.2%, as did general inflation, mainly due to services, whose prices were They accelerated two tenths, up to 1.9%, mainly driven by tourism and hospitality, whose prices increased by 2.8% (2.3% in the previous month). For their part, BINE prices fell 0.1%, after stabilizing the previous month.

In month-on-month terms, the CPI registered a variation rate of 0.1% in March 2018, compared to the stabilization of the same month in 2017. By component, BINE prices increased (1%, rate lower by one tenth as of March 2017), services (0.4%, compared to the 0.2% increase in the same month of the previous year) and food (0.1%, after the 0.3% drop a year earlier) ), while those of energy products decreased (-2.6%, as in March 2017). Within the food group, the prices of both unprocessed and processed foods registered a month-on-month rate of 0.1% in March 2018 (-1.2% and 0.2%, respectively, in the same month of 2017) .

Inflation in March increased compared to February in all the Autonomous Communities, except in the Canary Islands (it decreased two tenths, to 1.2%). The largest increases in inflation, of three tenths, occurred in Madrid (1.4%), Extremadura (1%) and Murcia (0.9%).

The annual rate of the CPI for constant taxes stood at 1.2% in March, the same as that registered by the general CPI.

The INE has also published the harmonized CPI (HICP) for the month of March, whose year-on-year rate stands at 1.3%, one tenth higher than that of February. For its part, the rate advanced by Eurostat for the euro area as a whole in March is 1.4%, resulting in a favorable inflation differential for Spain of one tenth.

Video with the assessment of Irene Garrido, Secretary of State for Economy and Business Support:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLw68V1blzg



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