The annual rate of the general Consumer Price Index (CPI) in August was -0.5%, one tenth above that registered the previous month, according to confirmed data published this Friday by the National Institute of Statistics (INE). In this way, headline inflation has been in negative territory for five months, after remaining in balance in March.
Groups that stand out due to their influence on the increase in the annual rate were housing, whose rate increased more than one point and stood at -2.7%, due to the rise in electricity prices; hotels, cafes and restaurants, which increased its variation two tenths, to 0.5%, due to the rise in prices of accommodation, and transport, with a variation of -4.4%, due to the increase in prices of fuel and lubricants for personal transportation this month. Furthermore, in the opposite direction, the air transport of passengers stands out.
For its part, the group with the greatest negative influence on the evolution of the CPI in August was leisure and culture, which presented a rate of -2.1%, one point lower than the previous month, due to the fact that the prices of tour packages increased more in 2019 than this month.
The annual change in core inflation (general index excluding non-processed food and energy products) decreased two tenths, to 0.4%, which is nine tenths above the general CPI.
Compared with the month of July, the general CPI did not change.
In an analysis of the effects of Covid-19, the goods studied include food products, beverages, tobacco, cleaning and non-durable items for the home, pharmaceuticals, pet food and personal care items.
The annual rate of these goods stood at 1.7% in August, one tenth less than the previous month. Fresh fruits stood out, whose prices fell this month less than in August 2019, and milk, cheese and eggs, which decreased their prices this month compared to the rise last year.
Regarding the services analyzed to measure the impact of Covid-19, this group includes housing and garage rental services, water distribution, sewerage, garbage collection, community expenses, electricity, gas, heating oil, heating services, telephony, music and television streaming, insurance, bank commissions and funeral services.
The prices of these services increased eight tenths, to -2.1% in August, due to the increase in electricity prices, compared to the decrease registered in 2019.
By autonomous communities, the annual rate of the CPI increased in 10 regions in August compared to July, remained in four and decreased in three.
The Canary Islands, Cantabria and the Balearic Islands were the communities where the annual rate decreased, with a decrease of two tenths in the first two and one tenth in the last.
The greatest increase occurred in Comunidad Foral de Navarra, with a rise of four tenths.
On the other hand, the Harmonized CPI (IPCA) showed an annual rate of -0.6%, one tenth above that registered the previous month.
Measured at constant taxes, the CPI stood at -0.5%, the same as that registered by the general CPI. The CPI harmonized at constant taxes presented an annual rate of -0.6%, the same as that of the IPCA.