The year-on-year inflation rate in the euro area stood at 6.9% in March, compared to the 8.5% rise in prices the previous month, thanks to the fall in energy prices, as confirmed by the office Community Statistics, Eurostat. However, the core rate, which excludes the effect of energy and food, climbed to a new record of 5.7%.
For its part, the year-on-year inflation rate of the European Union (EU) moderated in March to 8.3% from 9.9% in February. In this way, the rates of the euro zone and for the whole of the Twenty-seven accumulate five consecutive months of deceleration, standing at their lowest level since February 2022, before the impact of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, in the case of the bloc of the euro, and from April 2022 for the EU.
In March 2023, energy prices in the euro area registered a year-on-year drop of 0.9%, after the 13.7% rise in the previous month, reflecting the step effect related to the sharp rise in energy prices observed in March of last year in the aftermath of the invasion of Ukraine and the imposition of sanctions on Russia.
However, food prices in the euro zone picked up again in March, with a rise of 14.7%, compared to 13.9% year-on-year in February, while services also became more expensive, with a rise in 5.1%, three tenths higher than the previous month. In contrast, non-energy industrial goods slowed their rise to 6.6%, compared to 6.8% in February. Thus, by excluding the impact of energy from the calculation, the year-on-year inflation rate in the euro zone stood at 7.9% in March, compared with 7.8% in February.
Likewise, also excluding the effect of the prices of fresh food, alcohol and tobacco, the core inflation rate in the euro zone rose to 5.7% from 5.6% the previous month, its highest level. high of the entire historical series. Among the Twenty-seven, the smallest price increases compared to the same month of the previous year were registered in Luxembourg (2.9%), Spain (3.1%) and the Netherlands (4.5%), while the most intense increases corresponded to Hungary (25.6%), Latvia (17.2%) and the Czech Republic (16.5%).
Thus, the favorable price differential for Spain with respect to the euro zone widened in March to 3.8 percentage points, compared to 2.5 in the previous month.
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