Spain’s annual inflation jumps to 6.7% at end of 2021, highest since 1989

Food and fuel costs drive Spanish inflation to 29-year high
FILE PHOTO: Shipping containers are seen at the port of Barcelona, as food and fuel costs drive Spanish inflation to 29-year high, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Barcelona, Spain, November 29, 2021. REUTERS/Nacho Doce

December 30, 2021

MADRID (Reuters) -Spanish consumer prices in December rose 6.7% from the same month last year, the fastest annual pace of inflation since 1989, flash data from the National Statistics Institute (INE) showed on Thursday.

The 12-month inflation rate to November was 5.5%, and analysts polled by Reuters had expected the final 2021 reading to come to 5.7%.

Prices increased 1.3% in December from November, compared with a 0.2% rise in December 2020, INE said.

Electricity fees drove the annual price index to the 32-year high, INE said, adding that prices for food also rose significantly in 2021, after a general decline the previous year.

The inflation rate for 2021 was the highest since a 6.9% increase in 1989, when the country was experiencing a rapid economic expansion after joining the European Community, as the European Union was then called, in 1986.

Spain also registered an annual inflation rate of 6.9% in March 1992.

INE data also showed Spain’s EU-harmonised consumer price index rose 6.7% in December on an annual basis, up from 5.5% in November. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected a reading of 5.8%.

(Reporting by Marta Serafinko, editing by Inti Landauro and Hugh Lawson)