Spain inflation surges to 29-year high

30 Nov 2021

Inflation in Spain accelerated this month to its highest level in close to 30 years, on rising food and gas prices, according to official data.

Consumer prices rose 5.6%, a rise from October’s 5.4% increase, as per preliminary figures from the National Institute of Statistics (INE). This is the fastest pace recorded since September 1992, when the rate stood at 5.8%.

The rise in inflation within the eurozone’s fourth-largest economy was predominantly down to surging food prices followed by elevated gas prices, according to the Statistics Institute. However, in contrast, electricity costs have had a marginal fall, following a month-long acceleration, the INE went on to add.

“(…) The rise in food prices and, to a lesser extent, fuel and lubricating oils for vehicles stand out, compared to the decreases recorded in November last year,” the INE said.

Core inflation, measuring prices without including the volatile items such as energy or fresh food, hit 1.7%, a rise of 0.3 points, indicating price pressures are moving to other areas of the economy. 

Along with other countries in the European Union, inflation in Spain has increased since the start of the year after consumer prices dropped during the majority of last year on the economic impact of Covid lockdowns.

Last month, eurozone inflation hit 4.1%, far exceeding the European Central Bank’s (ECB) 2% target, and matching a high registered in July 2008.

However, the ECB is of the opinion that eurozone inflation will hit a high in November, and will gradually decelerate in 2022, as supply issues and the energy crunch begin to ease, according to executive board member Isabel Schnabel earlier this month.

Investor focus remains on whether central banks will withdraw their stimulus sooner than forecast to tame inflation.