Spain’s CPI rises to 6% in February, with record food prices rising 16.6%

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Spain's CPI rises to 6% in February, with record food prices rising 16.6%

The inflation in Spain rose in February to 6% year-on-year, one tenth more than the previous month and one less than anticipated by the INE, due to the increase in electricity prices and the historic rise in food prices of 16.6%, despite the reduction or elimination of VAT on some products.

The group of foods and non-alcoholic beverages has increased more than one point above that of the previous month, and influences this behavior the increase in the price of legumes and vegetables and meat, in addition to a lower cheapening of fish and seafood compared to last year, according to the final data made public on Tuesday by the National Institute of Statistics.

The increase in the general rate is also influenced by the housing group, which reduces its fall by more than two points to 6.2%, mainly due to the increase in electricity prices, compared to the decrease registered last year, as well as that of clothing and footwear, with a rate of 3.9%, three tenths higher than that of the previous month.

The group with the greatest negative influence is transport, which places its rate at 1.9% (more than three and a half points lower), due to the decrease in fuel and lubricant prices, the fall in transport services and car prices, which increase less than in 2022.

FOOD, AT ALL-TIME HIGHS

The rise in food and non-alcoholic beverages is the highest since the series of this group began in January 1994, according to the INE, and the largest increases in year-on-year rate in February correspond to the sugar (52.6%), butter (39.1%), sauces and condiments (33.8%), olive oil (33.5%) and whole milk (33.2%).

Despite the reduction or elimination of VAT on some foods, many of them continue to show very significant year-on-year increases, such as fresh fruits (5.6%); flour (26.2%); eggs (28%); potatoes (21%); cheese (19.8%); bread (13.2%) or pasta (11.4%).

The Ministry of Economic Affairs blames the rise in vegetables, as well as fresh fruits, to “a punctual reduction in supply as a result of unfavorable weather conditions in Spain and other EU countries”, and recalls that its level of increase in February is “similar to that of France and lower than that of Germany”.

In monthly terms, food prices are less significant and some products have fallen, such as fresh fish, by 5.7%; yoghurt, 3.5%; sheepmeat, 3,2 %; fresh seafood, 0.7%; or flour, 0.4%.

CORE INFLATION HIGHEST SINCE 1986

The INE has revised one tenth downwards the data advanced on February 28, both the general rate, up to 6%, and the core -index without fresh food or energy products-, up to 7.6%, and in the latter case it is one tenth more than that registered in January and the highest since December 1986.

Regarding the monthly rate, the general CPI rose by 0.9% in February compared to January. What rose the most were domestic tour packages (13%), electricity (12.6%) and baby food (11.4%), while what fell the most was combined passenger transport, 19.7%, and bus transport, 7.4%.

On these data regarding transport, the Ministry of Economic Affairs highlights its “good behavior” and the “significant reduction” they present thanks to the measures implemented by the Government to promote public transport.

Regarding the annual rate of variation of the HICP, it stands at 6% in February, one tenth above that registered the previous month, while the monthly variation is 0.9%.

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