• Energy products prices rose 1.4% year-on-year in February, following the fall of 1.7% in January
  • The underlying rate, which excludes the most volatile elements of the CPI, rises three tenths, up to 1.1%

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased 1.1% year-on-year in February 2018, according to figures published by the National Statistics Institute (INE), the same rate as the one advanced by the INE and higher by half a point than the one registered in January (0.6%). The increase in inflation in February is explained by the increase in the prices of energy products, after the fall of the previous month, and, to a lesser extent, by the acceleration of the prices of services and non-energy industrial goods ( BINE), partially offset by the slower rate of growth in food prices. In inter-monthly terms, the CPI recorded an increase of 0.1% in February 2018, compared to the 0.4% decrease in the same month of 2017.

The prices of energy products rose 1.4% year-on-year in February, after the fall of 1.7% in January, mainly due to electricity prices, which went from decreasing 13% year-on-year in January to increasing 0 , 5% in February. On the other hand, the prices of fuels and lubricants and gas slowed down 1.8 and 0.5 points, respectively, to 0.7% and 7.7%.

Food inflation stood at 1% in February, a rate that is three tenths lower than that of the previous month. The prices of unprocessed food increased 0.3%, 1.3 points less than in the previous month, mainly due to the greater fall in prices of fresh vegetables (-10.6%, after the 3% fall of the previous month). The prices of processed food, beverages and tobacco accelerated three tenths, up to 1.4% year-on-year.

Core inflation (which excludes unprocessed food and energy products, more volatile elements of the CPI) increased in February to 1.1%, mainly due to services, whose prices accelerated four tenths, to 1.7% , mainly driven by the prices of tour packages, which increased 3.8% (-1.9% in the previous month). On the other hand, BINE prices remained stable, after decreasing 0.2% in the previous month, while processed food prices accelerated.

In inter-monthly terms, the CPI registered a variation rate of 0.1% in February 2018, half a point higher than that registered in the same month of 2017. By components, prices of energy products decreased (-0, 5%, compared to -3.5% of February 2017), food (-0.1%, compared to the 0.2% increase in the same month of the previous year) and BINE (-0.3%, higher rate in two tenths to that of a year earlier), while those of services increased (0.7%, four tenths more than in February last year). Within the food group, prices of unprocessed foods recorded in February 2018 an inter-monthly rate of -0.3% (0.9% in the same month of 2017), while those of processed foods remained stable (-0.2% a year earlier).

February inflation increased compared to January in all autonomous communities. The largest increases, of seven tenths, were produced in Comunitat Valenciana (1.1%) and La Rioja (0.9%). Castilla y León (0.8%), Castilla-La Mancha (0.9%) and Galicia (0.9%), are the ones with the lowest increase in inflation, of three tenths.

The interannual rate of the CPI to constant taxes stood at 1.1% in January, as was the one recorded by the general CPI.

The INE has also published the harmonized CPI (HICP) corresponding to the month of February, whose interannual rate stands at 1.2%, half a point higher than in January. For its part, the rate advanced by Eurostat for the whole of the euro zone in February is 1.2%, resulting in a zero inflation differential for Spain with respect to the euro zone.

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