Spanish inflation confirmed at four-year high in February

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Consumer prices rose at their fastest level since 2012 in Spain, marking a fresh four-year high for the eurozone’s fourth-largest economy.

Rises in transport and housing pushed Spain’s harmonized index of consumer prices up to 3 per cent in February from the same period the previous year. On a monthly basis, prices fell 0.3 per cent compared to January. Both figures were in line with initial estimates from Spain’s statistics office at the end of February.

Transport prices rose 8.2 per cent, while housing prices were up 5.9 per cent, the statistics office said. The only sector where prices fell compared to February 2016 was furniture and household goods, with a 0.4 per cent dip.

Spain’s figures are in line with the upward trend in inflation across the eurozone as a whole. Eurozone inflation reached its highest level in four years in February, climbing to 2 per cent – above the rate targeted by the European Central Bank.

There were tentative signs last week that inflation could be pinching the Spanish consumer, with retail sales for January up just 0.1 per cent compared to the same month the previous year – against expectations of a 2.5 per cent increase.

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