Spanish inflation eases to 20-month low while core remains elevated


By Xavier Fontdegloria

Spain’s inflation rate eased more than expected in March, reaching its lowest level in 20 months as energy prices sank from a year earlier, when Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sent them surging.

The consumer price index–which measures what consumers pay for goods and services–increased 3.1% in March on year measured by European Union-harmonized standards, down sharply from the 6% on-year rise registered in February, preliminary data from the Spanish statistics office INE showed Thursday.

This marks the lowest inflation rate since July 2021, and came in below the 4.2% expected by economists in a poll from The Wall Street Journal.

The consumer price index rose 3.3% in March by national standards, easing from the 6% increase seen in February.

The marked decrease in annual inflation was mainly driven by lower energy prices than a year before, when the war in Ukraine began. Electricity and fuel prices fell in March while they increased the same month a year earlier, INE said.

Core inflation–which exclude the more volatile categories of food and energy–slowed slightly to 7.5% in March from 7.6% in February.

Compared with the previous month, consumer prices rose 0.4% by national standards and increased 1.1% by EU-harmonized standards, INE said.

Spanish inflation is expected to average 3.7% in 2023, down from 4.9% previously anticipated, according to projections from the Bank of Spain. However, core inflation is expected to ease at a slower pace than headline inflation, according to the bank’s March economic bulletin.

Write to Xavier Fontdegloria at

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