Spanish inflation unchanged in July

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Spain's annual inflation rate remained unchanged in July on the back of lower communications costs although it remained above the eurozone average, final official data showed Friday.

The harmonized index of consumer prices, based on European Union calculations, rose 3.0 percent in July from a year earlier, the same level as in June, the National Statistics Institute said.

The figures confirmed a preliminary estimate released on July 29.

The statistics office said the stability in prices was due in part to a 1.2 percent fall in communications prices due to lower telephone services costs.

By comparison the EU's statistics office Eurostat estimates that consumer prices in the 17 countries using the euro was up 2.5 percent in July, after increasing 2.7 percent in June.

Inflation in Spain remains at a high level, comparable to that reached in late 2008, just before the country plunged into recession as the property boom collapsed.

In recent months, soaring fuel costs, higher tariffs on cigarettes and a slight recovery in the property market have helped push up prices.

Spain's inflation rate touched a 30-month peak of 3.5 percent in April before easing to 3.4 percent in May.

The Bank of Spain predicts inflation will decline over the coming months, to reach 1.7 percent at the end of 2011.

© 2011 AFP

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