Spanish minister warns of further energy price hikes despite falling inflation – EURACTIV.com

Spain could face another round of energy price hikes from September despite a significant drop in inflation in August due to lower fuel prices, Finance Minister Nadia warned on Tuesday. Calvino.

According to new data released by the Spanish National Institute of Statistics (INE), although fuel prices have fallen compared to the same period in 2021, electricity, food, restaurants and travel packages are become more expensive.

Prices rose 0.1% in August from July, according to the leading indicator of the Consumer Price Index (CPI), the fifth monthly increase so far this year.

The latest INE figure represents the first drop in Spain’s CPI since April this year, when it fell to 8.3% from 9.8% in March, and the third since February 2021, when the trend rising inflation started in the country.

Although inflation will continue “on a downward path” in the coming months, Calviño urged caution in an interview broadcast by the Spanish public broadcaster RTVE on Tuesday morning.

The war in Ukraine is one of the main causes of inflation in Spain and the rest of the EU, although instability around future gas supplies and uncertainty in semiconductors, especially for vehicles, are also among the other key factors.

In recent months, Spain has seen its highest inflation spikes in March and June, when Russia cut gas supplies to Europe, INE reported.

Core inflation (excluding unprocessed food and energy) rose in August to 6.4%, a rate which, if confirmed, would be the highest since January 1993.

The harmonized consumer price index, which measures price changes using the same method throughout the euro zone, stands at 10.3% year-on-year.

But falling inflation hasn’t stopped unions from calling for an increase in the minimum wage.

A substantial increase in the national minimum wage is “essential” to help workers mitigate the negative impact of inflation, the union Comisiones Obreras has said.

Raising the minimum wage would be essential ahead of an autumn of “great uncertainty” for Spain and the rest of Europe, said Unai Sordo, general secretary of the union, RTVE radio and television reported.

The government has said it is seeking to raise the national minimum wage to 60% of the average wage in 2023, a monthly wage of between €1,011 and €1,049 – a move the country’s employers’ association opposes fiercely.

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