• Moderation of unprocessed foods and stability in processed and services
  • The CPI increased one tenth to constant taxes, up to 0.7% in annual rate

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) recorded a monthly increase of 0.2% in February, compared to a slightly smaller increase (0.1%) from a year earlier. The interannual rate thus rose one tenth, to 2.8%, according to data published today by the National Statistics Institute (INE). This increase has been due to the acceleration of the prices of energy products and, to a lesser extent, of Non-Energy Industrial Goods (BINES), partially offset by the moderation of unprocessed food. For their part, both services and processed food maintained their respective annual rates.

Energy products resumed their upward trend in February and posted an increase of 0.6 percentage points in their annual rate, to 5.9%. Its main item, fuels and fuels, has contributed to this, increasing its annual rate by 0.9 percentage points, to 5.1%. For its part, fresh food has moderated its annual rate significantly, by 1.2 percentage points, to 3.1%, due to the slowdown in the prices of some meats, such as sheep and cattle, and pulses. and fresh vegetables, which have offset the increases in fresh fish and fruits.

As for the groups that are part of the most stable nucleus of the index, the so-called core inflation highlights the advance of the BINES by one tenth, up to 1.4% in annual rate. Within this category, the heading of medicines and therapeutic material stands out, which has increased by 1.6% in the month and has placed its annual rate at 26.2%, almost 2 points more than the previous month. For their part, processed foods have maintained their annual rate at 3.6%, although with disparate behaviors. The main upward pressure has come from oils and fats, which place their annual rate at 19.1%, 1.1 points above that of January. In contrast, milk registered an annual price increase of 1.2%, 5 tenths lower than that registered in January. Finally, the annual rate of service prices has also remained at 2.2%, due to the fact that certain bullish items such as medical services (2.1%) and transport (2.8%) have been compensated with the moderation of services for the home (1.7%).

As a result of this evolution, core inflation also increased one tenth, to 2.3%, mainly reflecting the slight acceleration of the BINES. This increase in core inflation is what has finally determined the rise in one tenth of the CPI. The external components of core inflation (energy and fresh food) have evolved in opposite directions and have offset their contributions to the change in the index.

Regarding the monthly variation of the CPI, the increase has been 0.2%. It mainly responds to energy products in the heading of fuels and fuels (2.3%); processed food (0.3%), the result of upward pressure from oils, canned fruits and nuts; and services (0.2%), as a result of the advancement of tourism and hospitality and urban public transport. On the contrary, there has been a decrease of 0.3% in BINES, as a consequence of the seasonal fall in clothing and footwear (-1.8%), due to the latest effects of the winter sales, and the prices of fresh food (-1.1%), where the falls in sheep meat (-7.5%) and fresh and frozen fish (-3.2%) stand out.

The Autonomous Communities with the highest annual inflation rate in February were Cantabria (with 3.6%), Catalonia (with 3.3%) and the Balearic Islands (3.1%). The least inflationary communities were Melilla (1.2%), Ceuta (1.7%), Canarias (2%), Madrid (2.5%) and Navarra (2.5%).

The annual CPI rate for constant taxes increased one tenth in February, to 0.7%, and the underlying rate another tenth, to 0.3%. Within this index, the annual rate of energy was 3.1% (2.4% in January) and that of fresh food, 2.1% (3.3% in January). Within core inflation at constant taxes, BIN prices fell 0.7%, food grew 2.1% and services prices 0.2%, rates that show a similar evolution to those of the same groups in the general CPI.

The INE has also published the harmonized CPI (IPCA) for February, whose annual rate stands at 2.9%, one tenth above that of the previous month. When compared to the annual rate estimated by Eurostat for the euro area as a whole (1.8%), the differential unfavorable to Spain would increase by three tenths to stand at 1.1 points. The HICP at constant taxes stood at 0.8%, one tenth more than in January.

In short, the month of February has shown a certain price stability. The main determinants of inflation point to moderation throughout the year. The correction of inflation levels will be especially intense as the steps due to regulatory and tax measures introduced between the months of July and September 2012 are discounted.

Source of the new