Spain annual inflation falls for first time
A preliminary data report by the national statistics office reveals that Spanish annual inflation declined 0.1 percent for the first time in 48 years.
MADRID – Spanish inflation declined by 0.1 percent in March over 12 months, national statistics institute INE said Monday, the first annual decline in prices since it started tracking inflation in 1961.
Spanish consumer prices rose by 0.7 percent in February on an annual basis.
Following this preliminary data, the statistics office will publish final inflation figures for the month on 15 April.
Spain entered its first recession in 15 years at the end of 2008 as the international financial crisis hit an already weakened building sector which had been the country's engine of growth, causing consumer demand to fall.
The annual inflation rate has fallen each month after hitting 5.3 percent in July, which was the highest since January 1997, due to an abrupt economic slowdown and lower oil prices.
In November 2008 Economy Minister Pedro Solbes forecast that inflation would fall below 1.0 percent by July 2009 but the government has ruled out the risk of deflation, a sustained fall in prices.
AFP / Expatica