• Core inflation remains at 2.3% for non-energy industrial goods and processed food
  • The prices of energy products are down 2.7 points and fresh food by six tenths

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) posted a month-on-month increase of 0.4% in March, compared to a significantly larger increase (0.7%) from a year earlier, and its year-on-year rate fell four tenths, down to 2 , 4%, according to data published today by the National Statistics Institute (INE). The moderation in the annual inflation rate has been due, especially, to the slowdown in the prices of energy products and, to a lesser extent, to that of unprocessed food. Processed food and non-energy industrial goods (BINES) maintained their respective annual rates, while that of services accelerated by Easter (last year it was held in April).

Starting the analysis of the annual rate for the prices of energy products, it has moderated in March, after the rise in February, and has decreased significantly by 2.7 percentage points, to 3.2%; its main item, fuels and fuels, has contributed especially, which has moderated its annual rate by 3.7 percentage points, to 1.4%. For its part, fresh foods, for the second consecutive month, have decreased their annual rate, by 0.6 percentage points to 2.5%, due to the slowdown in the prices of some meats, such as sheep, poultry and pork. , eggs and fresh fish. Virtually no item in this group has increased its annual rate appreciably.

Turning to the groups that are part of the most stable core of the general index, the so-called core inflation highlights the stability of BINES, at 1.4%, and processed food, at 3.6%. Within BINES, the most bullish item continues to be that of drugs and therapeutic material, which has been maintained for the month but its annual rate increases one tenth, to 26.3%. On the other hand, processed foods have maintained their annual rate at 3.6%, for the third consecutive month, but after this stability there are disparate behaviors. The main inflationary tensions continue to come from oils and fats, which place their annual rate at 19.5%, 4 tenths above that of February. In contrast, the dairy products item registered an interannual decrease of 0.9%, a fall four tenths more pronounced than that of February. On the other hand, the annual rate of service prices increased two tenths, to 2.4%, mainly due to the departure of tourism and hospitality, which has increased its annual rate by half a point, to 1.4%, as a result the Easter effect; There is also an increase in the annual rate of interurban public transport, by 0.6 percentage points, to 7.3%.

As a result of this evolution, the Core inflation remained at 2.3%. In the absence of the Easter effect, which responds to the mobility of this holiday, this indicator would have been around a tenth lower.

The monthly change in the CPI was 0.4%, compared to 0.7% a year earlier. This increase mainly responds to the heading of clothing and footwear, which has registered an increase of 4%, of a seasonal nature and to the heading of tourism and hospitality. On the contrary, it is worth mentioning a 0.6% decrease in energy products, as a result of the 0.8% drop, in its main heading, fuels and fuels; as well as decreases of 0.5% in fresh food, as a result of the fall in the price of most meats and fresh fruits, and in intercity public transport (-0.3%).

The Autonomous Communities with the highest inflation rate in March were Catalonia (with 3%) and Murcia and the Balearic Islands (2.6% in both). The least inflationary communities were Melilla (0.9%), Ceuta (1.3%) and the Canary Islands (1.8%).

In March, the annual rate of the CPI at constant taxes decreased three tenths, to 0.4%, and the underlying rate remained at 0.3%. Within this index, the annual rate of energy was 0.4% (3.1% in February) and that of fresh food, 1.5% (2.1% in February). Within the core of core inflation at constant taxes, BIN prices fell 0.8%, processed foods rose 2.1% and services prices 0.4%.

The INE has also published the harmonized CPI (IPCA) for March, whose annual rate stands at 2.6%, three tenths below that of the previous month. When compared with the annual rate estimated by Eurostat for the euro area as a whole (1.7%), the differential unfavorable to Spain would decrease by two tenths to stand at 0.9 points.

The HICP at constant taxes stood at 0.5%, three tenths less than in February. Its components experienced similar variations to those observed in the general CPI: the most volatile elements, energy and unprocessed food, saw their annual rates cut by 2.7 and 0.6 percentage points, respectively, to 0.4 and 1.5% . Within the special groups whose prices approximate core inflation at constant prices (0.3%), processed foods maintained their annual rate at 2.1%, BINES reduced it one tenth (to -0.8%) and services increased two tenths, reaching 0.4%.

In short, the evolution of prices in March has been characterized by moderation, which is in line with expectations. The year-on-year inflation rate has decreased, and discounting the Easter effect, core inflation would also have decreased.

For the next few months, this price moderation is expected to continue so that, together with the also expected moderation in wages, the competitiveness gains of the Spanish economy will be consolidated, with the consequent positive impact on foreign investment and exports.

Source of the new