Inflation moderates six tenths in February to 2.8% due to electricity and food

Inflation moderates six tenths in February to 2.8% due to electricity and food

The Consumer Price Index (CPI), the main indicator of inflation, moderated six tenths in February to 2.8%, the same as the eurozone average. due to the sharp drop in the electricity bill and the moderation in the price of the shopping basket, according to data confirmed today by the National Institute of Statistics (INE).

The sharp drop in electricity prices in February of this year compared to the rise they experienced in February 2023, and the stability of the prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages, which increased in the same month of the previous year, were the main consumer groups that lowered the inflation data, despite the increase in fuel prices compared to the fall in February 2023. The general CPI, advanced on February 29, therefore remains at its lowest since August 2023, when it reached 2.6%.

The INE, in addition to confirming the advance data, breaks down the components of the CPI by consumption groups and their upward or downward influence on inflation.

In addition to the lowering of the electricity bill, the component with the greatest weight in the index, the influence of food has also been notable, which rose again in February but at its lowest rate in two years, specifically 5.3% year-on-year, a rate 2.1 points lower than that of January and the least pronounced since January 2022 as a result of the lower prices of legumes, vegetables and meat.

However, some basic products in the shopping basket are still immersed in an upward spiral, such as olive oil, which It has become 67% more expensive in the last year, it shoots up again 5.3% more compared to January and is already 191% more expensive than in 2021.

For its part, the housing group (the expenses associated with the home, not the price of the home itself, whose main item is the electricity bill) It drops 4.2 points to -2.7%, in contrast to the increase they experienced in February 2023.

Transportation increased its interannual rate by 2.5 points, up to 2.4%, as a result of the increase in fuel prices for personal vehicles and, to a lesser extent, combined passenger transportation. In one month, prices rose: The general CPI rises two tenths to a month-on-month rate of 0.4%, one tenth more than the advanced data and its largest monthly increase since August 2023.

For its part, the underlying CPI, which excludes from the statistics the most volatile evolution of energy and unprocessed food, moderates two tenths, to 3.5% and rises one tenth compared to the estimated figure according to the data confirmed today by the INE. The underlying rate is therefore seven tenths above that of the general CPI and is the lowest since March 2022.

The Harmonized Consumer Price Index (HICP), a statistic used to create international averages, mainly Eurostat, It stands at 2.9%, six tenths less than in January, and in the inter-monthly rate it remains at 0.4%, confirms the statistical institute. Without taking into account the reductions and variations in taxes (CPI at constant taxes), the interannual CPI reached 2.6% in February, two tenths below the general rate of 2.8%.

The Ministry of Economy points out that the reduction in inflation in February demonstrates the capacity of the Spanish economy to make the highest economic growth among the main countries in the euro zone compatible with a moderation in prices and with the maintenance of the measures. of the social shield supporting the most vulnerable. This sustained reduction in inflation continues to improve the purchasing power of families and the competitiveness of Spanish companies.

Prices rose in February compared to the previous year in all the autonomous communities, especially in Extremadura (3.3%), Galicia (3.2%) and the Canary Islands and Euskadi (both 3.1%) while La Rioja and Navarra were those that rose the least, both with an increase of 2.5% in 12 months, three tenths below the annual average.

What rises and falls the most in a year and in a month

In February, some notable price increases compared to last year occurred on cruises: the price of maritime passenger transport rises 23.1%; fruit and vegetable juices, 18.8%; national tourist packages, 18.7%; and passenger transportation by metro, 17.4%. Other oils also became cheaper in one year (-24.6%); natural gas (-21%); mobile telephone equipment (-10.9%); butane and propane (-10.1%) and personal computers (-9.9%).

Compared to January, prices rise in a month, especially due to the aforementioned higher gasoline prices, but also due to tourism and cafes, bars and restaurants (accommodation, restaurants and tourist packages).

What increased in price the most in February compared to January were the subway (+16.6%), national tourist packages (+11.7%) and hotels (+11.5%), in addition to olive oil, and what became cheaper during the month were legumes and vegetables (-6.4%) and electricity (-5.2%).

Instead, the clothing and footwear group fell due to the effect of the winter sales: shopping was 1.8% cheaper compared to January, while the cheaper electricity caused the monthly rate of the housing group to drop by 1.3%.