• The celebration of Holy Week drives up prices for tourism and hospitality services

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

Energy products prices rose 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 deceleration of gas, which moderated the growth rate by 1.1 points, to 6.6%. On the other hand, the prices of fuels and lubricants increased from 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 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 fall in prices of fresh vegetables (-3.4%, after the 10.6% drop in the previous month). The prices of processed food, beverages and tobacco slowed down one tenth, to 1.3% year-on-year.

Core inflation (which excludes unprocessed food and energy products, more volatile elements of the CPI) increased in March one tenth, up to 1.2%, as well as general inflation, mainly due to services, whose prices are accelerated two tenths, up to 1.9%, driven mainly by tourism and hospitality, whose prices increased 2.8% (2.3% in the previous month). On the other hand, the prices of the BINE fell 0.1%, after the stabilization of the previous month.

In inter-monthly terms, the CPI recorded a variation rate of 0.1% in March 2018, compared to the stabilization of the same month of 2017. By components, the prices of BINEs increased (1%, lower rate by one tenth to that 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, prices of both unprocessed and processed foods recorded in March 2018 an inter-monthly rate of 0.1% (-1.2% and 0.2%, respectively, in the same month of 2017) .

March inflation increased compared to February in all the autonomous communities, except in the Canary Islands (two tenths were moderated, up to 1.2%). The greatest increases in inflation, of three tenths, occurred in Madrid (1.4%), Extremadura (1%) and Murcia (0.9%).

The interannual rate of the CPI to constant taxes stood at 1.2% in March, as was the one registered by the general CPI.

The INE has also published the harmonized CPI (CPI) corresponding to the month of March, whose interannual rate stands at 1.3%, one tenth higher than in February. For its part, the rate advanced by Eurostat for the whole of the euro zone 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:


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