Energy prices boost Spanish inflation in September

Spanish inflation jumped in September due mainly to higher electricity and fuel prices, preliminary data showed Thursday.

Consumer prices rose 3.5 percent year-on-year, figures from the National Statistics Institute (INE) showed, up from 2.6 percent in August.

Spanish inflation has been rising again since falling to 1.9 percent in June, just below the European Central Bank’s two-percent target. It stood at 2.6 percent in August.

The increase in prices in September was due mainly to a rebound in electricity prices, which had fallen in September 2022, and to a lesser extent to an uptick in fuel prices, INE said in a statement.

Spanish inflation soared after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, hitting a record 10.8 percent in July 2022, its highest level since 1985.

Acting Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s leftist government has implemented a series of measures to curb inflation, including free commuter rail travel and scrapping the value-added tax on basic food items.

He is trying to cobble together enough support among smaller parties to stay in power following an inconclusive early general election in July.

The Bank of Spain warned last week that inflation will be faster than it had anticipated this year and next due to a pickup in oil prices that will also drag down economic expansion.