• Core inflation, which excludes the most volatile items in the index, decreases one tenth, to 1%
  • The lower rise in energy and unprocessed food prices compensates for higher fuel inflation

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

Energy product prices rose 16.8% year-on-year in February, following the 17.5% increase recorded in January. This slowdown is explained by the slower growth in electricity prices, which increased from 26.2% year-on-year in January to 18.9% in February, partially offset by the acceleration of fuel and fuel prices, 2.5 points up to 16.4%.

Food prices grew 1.7% in February, six tenths more than in January, an evolution that is explained by unprocessed food, which doubled the year-on-year rate compared to January, to 5.4% , highlighting the behavior of fresh fruit prices (from 0.3% year-on-year in January to 7.6% in February) and from fresh vegetables (4.3 points accelerated, up to 22.2%) The prices of processed food, beverages and tobacco stabilized in February, compared to the 0.3% increase 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 processed food prices (three tenths , until recording a null variation) and of non-energy industrial goods (two tenths, up to 0.6%), while service inflation remained at 1.3%.

In inter-monthly terms, the CPI decreased 0.4% in February, as in February 2016. By components, the prices of energy products fell 3.5%, after a year-on-year decline of 2.9% 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 0.4% drop in February 2016.

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

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

The interannual rate of the CPI to constant taxes stood at 3% in February, as was the general CPI.

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

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