• Core inflation, which excludes the most volatile elements in the index, declines one tenth, down to 1%
  • The lower rise in energy prices and unprocessed food compensates for the higher inflation of fuels

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased in February 2017 by 3% in the interannual rate, as in January, according to figures published by the National Statistics Institute (INE), a rate coinciding with that advanced by the INE to end of last month. This behavior was due to the fact that the lower growth in the prices of electricity, non-energy industrial goods (BINE) and processed food compensated for the higher inflation of unprocessed food and of fuels and fuels, while inflation of services remained stable. In month-on-month terms, the general CPI decreased 0.4% in February, as in the same month of 2016.

The prices of energy products grew 16.8% year-on-year in February, after the 17.5% increase registered in January. This slowdown is explained by the slower growth rate of electricity prices, which went from growing 26.2% year-on-year in January to 18.9% in February, partially offset by the acceleration in fuel and fuel prices, 2.5 points to 16.4%.

Food prices grew 1.7% in February, six tenths more than in January, an evolution explained by unprocessed food, which doubled the year-on-year rate compared to January, to stand at 5.4% , highlighting the behavior of the prices of fresh fruits (they went from a fall of 0.3% year-on-year in January to a growth of 7.6% in February) and of fresh legumes and vegetables (they accelerated 4.3 points, until the 22.2%). The prices of processed food, beverages and tobacco stabilized in February, against an increase of 0.3% in January.

Core inflation (which excludes unprocessed food and energy, which are the most volatile elements of the CPI) moderated one tenth in February, to 1%, as a result of the slowdown in prices of processed food (three tenths , to note a zero variation) and non-energy industrial goods (two tenths, up to 0.6%), while service inflation remained at 1.3%.

In month-on-month terms, the CPI decreased 0.4% in February, the same as in February 2016. By component, the prices of energy products fell 3.5%, after the 2.9% decrease of one year before; those of services grew 0.3%, after the 0.4% increase in February 2016; those of BINE fell 0.5%, two tenths more than in February of the previous year; and those of food increased 0.2%, compared to the drop of 0.4% in February 2016.

Within the food group, the prices of unprocessed food registered a month-on-month rate of 0.9% in February (-1.6% in the same month of 2016), while those of processed food fell 0.2 % (0.1% rise a year earlier).

The interannual rate of the CPI remained positive in February in all the autonomous communities, with the largest increase corresponding to Castilla y León (two tenths, up to 3.6%). The other increases recorded were one-tenth and corresponded to Castilla-La Mancha (3.4% in February), Galicia (3.3%), Cantabria (3.2%) and the Principality of Asturias (3.1%). Decreases of one tenth compared to the previous month were registered in five other autonomous communities: La Rioja (3% year-on-year in February), Region of Murcia and Valencian Community (2.9% both), Extremadura (2.8%) and Community of Madrid (2.6%). In the rest of the communities, inflation remained unchanged compared to January.

The annual rate of the CPI at constant taxes stood at 3% in February, as did the general CPI.

The INE has also published the harmonized CPI (HICP) corresponding to the month of February 2017, whose interannual variation rate stands at 3%, one tenth higher than that of January. For its part, the rate advanced by Eurostat for the euro area stood at 2%, compared to 1.8% the previous month, resulting in an inflation differential for Spain with respect to the euro area of ​​one point, after the differential of 1.1 points in January.

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