The National Statistics Institute (INE) said that the consumer price index rose 0.4% in March after an increase of 0.9% in February. In annual terms, consumer price growth slowed to 3.3% (the lowest value since August 2021) from 6% in February, confirming forecasts and preliminary estimates. The weaker price growth was due to a stronger fall in housing prices (-16.2% vs. -6.2% in February), including electricity, gas (-35.6% vs. -17.2%). Meanwhile, prices for food and non-alcoholic beverages increased by 16.5%, which is 0.1% less than in February. The cost of furniture and household appliances increased by 7.3% after a rise by 7.7% in February, while prices in restaurants increased by 7.8% compared to +7.9% in February. Prices for clothing and footwear increased by 3.2%, which is 0.2% less than in February.
The data also showed that the core CPI, which does not include prices for unprocessed food and energy, rose 7.5% per annum, as expected, after an increase of 7.6% per annum in February (a record high). This is the first drop in core inflation in 23 months.
The harmonized index of consumer prices (HICP) - an indicator that allows to compare inflation in Spain with inflation in European countries - grew by 1.1% on a monthly basis and by 3.1% per annum.