Prices still rising in February but less than expected

Despite the Government summoning supermarket and distribution leaders to a meeting to explain the continual rise in prices, the result then being the government praising them for their actions and refusing to implement further controls, prices continued to rise in February in Spain, though not as much as expected.

The annual variation rate of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the month stood at 6.0%. It is one tenth higher than the data for January but one lower than that projected in the leading indicator. Electricity, which dropped again at the start of this week due to the increase in power generated by wind, caused the increase.

In addition, subjacent inflation increases one tenth, up to 7.6%, although it is lower than the 7.7% projected in the aforementioned leading indicator, which was offered on February 28. It is the highest since December 1986 and places its difference with the general CPI at more than one and a half points.

In total, the monthly variation of the general index is 0.9% (which prices have risen from one month to the next), said to be affected by the withdrawal of aid for fuels, although businesses are still being given subsidies, and, as we said, the rise in the electricity.

Data by regions

The CPI increased compared to January in 10 autonomous communities, decreased in 3 and remained stable in the remaining 4. The largest increases occurred in the Canary Islands (with an increase of 0.5 points), Cantabria (of 0.4 points), and Andalucía, Baleares, Cataluña, Comunitat Valenciana, Murcia and La Rioja (all of them with increases of 0.3 points).

For its part, the annual rate fell 0.9 points compared to January in Extremadura, and 0.1 points in Madrid and Navarra.

Annual evolution

The annual rate of the general Consumer Price Index (CPI) in the month of February is 6.0%. This rate is one tenth higher than that registered the previous month.

The groups of goods and services that rise are:

  • Household, which increased its variation by more than two points, up to –6.2%. The increase in electricity stands out in this behaviour, compared to the decrease registered last year. It is worth noting the negative influence of diesel for heating, whose prices decrease, compared to the increase of last year.
  • Food and non-alcoholic beverages, with a rate of 16.6%, more than one point above that of the previous month. This behaviour is influenced by the increase in the prices of legumes and vegetables, whose prices rise more than last year, meat, which increases its price compared to the decrease in 2022, and fish and shellfish, whose prices decrease less than the last year. It also affects, although in the opposite direction, milk, cheese and eggs, which increase their prices less than in 2022.
  • Leisure and culture, whose annual variation of 3.2%, seven tenths above that registered in January, is due to the increase in the prices of tourist packages, higher than that registered in February 2022.
  • Clothing and footwear, with a rate of 3.9%, 3 tenths higher than the previous month. This evolution is due to the prices of all its components falling this month less than in February 2022.

On the other hand, among the prices that fall, the following stand out:

  • Transport, which places its rate at 1.9%, more than three and a half points lower than last month. This decrease is due to the decrease in the prices of fuels and lubricants, compared to the increase in February of the previous year.

Inflation in Europe and other countries

It must be remembered that, meanwhile, inflation is hitting all neighbouring countries harder and Spain presents some of the best data in the Eurozone.

The CPI data for January for the euro area -which includes the countries that have the euro as their currency- was for inflation of 8.5%, an average from which our country is moving away.

In Germany, inflation was 8.7%. In France it was more moderate, at 6.0%. In Italy, the third largest economy in the EU, it was 10.1%.

Outside the eurozone, the United Kingdom has inflation of 10.1%. The United States experienced a decline, dipping to 6.4%.