Energy prices rose 3.2 percent from a year earlier in February, faster than 1.9 percent in the previous month, with petroleum products prices increasing by 3.2 percent (vs 0.2 percent in January). Also, food prices went up 3.1 percent, compared to a 2.7 percent advance in January, of which fresh food (8.3 percent vs 8.4 percent) and other food (2.1 percent vs 1.7 percent). Meanwhile, inflation was unchanged for tobacco (at 14 percent) and slowed for services (0.9 percent vs 1 percent), as cost increased at a softer rate for both health services (0.1 percent vs 0.2 percent) and other services (1.7 percent vs 1.9 percent). Also within services, declines were seen in prices for communication (-3.1 percent, the same as in January), transport (-0.5 percent vs -0.1 percent) and actual rentals and services for dwellings (-0.2 percent vs -0.4 percent). In addition, manufactured products costs continued to drop (-0.8 percent vs -0.4 percent), with decreases recorded for medical products (-4.9 percent vs -2.8 percent) and other manufactured products (-0.2 percent vs -0.1 percent).
Annual core inflation, which excludes public sector prices, the most volatile consumer prices and the tax measures stood at 0.7 percent in February, the same as in January.
On a monthly basis, consumer prices were unchanged in February after falling 0.4 percent in January. The rebound in energy prices (1.3 percent vs -1.2 percent) was offset by a decline in fresh food prices (-1.3 percent vs 2.4 percent) and the lesser drop in manufactured product prices (-0.4 percent vs -2.1 percent). At last, the prices of services were stable in February.
The harmonised index of consumer prices rose by 1.6 percent from the previous year (vs 1.4 percent in January) and by 0.1 percent month-over-month (vs -0.6 percent in January).