Inflation is still stalking the Spanish economy as the latest data puts price increases from February last year at an annualised rate of 6.1%.
This represents a faster pace than the 5.9% increase recorded in January and is above the 5.7% forecast by analysts polled by international news agency Reuters.
The information comes from preliminary data released on Tuesday by the National Statistics Institute (INE).
Spain had previously managed to reign in inflation during the second half of 2022, registering the lowest figure in the euro zone by the end of the year.
However, Spain’s price index has now risen for two consecutive months in annual terms, largely due to higher electricity and food and drink prices.
The INE data revealed that core inflation, which strips out volatile fresh food and energy prices, was 7.7% year-on-year in February, a higher rate than the 7.5% recorded in January.
The monthly change in prices from January to February was 1%, meaning prices have become a percentage point more expensive in just thirty days.
The inflation statistics will come as a shock to analysts, who had expected the rate to fall as energy prices have started to come back down after the shock of the invasion of Ukraine.
Despite this, analysts predict that any future decline will be slow, as companies are reluctant to obey market forces and reduce prices once they have put them up.
The persistent high core inflation rate, combined with a resilient eurozone economy, makes it easier for companies to implement new price increases, further contributing to the persistence of high core inflation.
The European Central Bank (ECB) is expected to raise interest rates further in the coming months, which could hamper economic growth, particularly in sectors such as real estate and business investment.