European Union-harmonised 12-month inflation in Spain declined to 2.9% in February as the pace of price growth in electricity and food decelerated.

This is according to preliminary data from the National Statistics Institute (INE) published on Thursday.

The figure was a fall from the 3.5% mark in January and in line with the average forecast from analysts polled by Reuters of 2.9%. This was the first time the rate had declined under 3% since August 2023.

Furthermore, the European Commission said in mid-February that it predicted inflation across the eurozone would be slower than previously forecast this year, due to subdued economic growth prospects.

According to Spain's Economy Minister, Carlos Cuerpo, the Socialist-led coalition government had made "price moderation compatible with maintaining social measures and supporting households and families who are most in need."

In addition, Spain's headline consumer prices increased 2.8% year-on-year last month. The 12-month inflation was under the 3.4% rate in January yet exceeded the 2.7% forecast by Reuters-polled analysts.

The National Statistics Institute said this was predominantly due to the fall in electricity prices and food price stability.

Inflation in Spain, as well as in other major economies within the eurozone, has decreased, yet it remains above the European Central Bank's desired target of 2%.

Earlier this week, vice president of the European Central Bank, Luis de Guindos said inflation is forecast to fall further, but the central bank requires more data before starting to slash interest rates, the Reuters report goes on to add.

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