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Spanish inflation slows in November

Source: AFP - Mon 29th Nov 2010

Spain's annual inflation rate slowed to 2.2 percent in November from a two-year high of 2.3 percent a month earlier, official data showed Monday.

The National Statistics Institute (INE) said the dip was due to "fuel prices which rose less that last year."

The INE figures were preliminary and it is to issue definitive and more detailed data on December 15.

The European Central Bank has set an inflation target of 2.0 percent for the 16 nations in that use the euro single currency.

Consumer inflation in Spain rose 2.3 percent over the 12 months to October, the highest since November 2008 when prices rose 2.4 percent and the country tipped into recession.

Spain is already struggling with feeble economic growth, squeezed by government cut-backs aimed at reining in a huge public deficit and arresting market fears of a debt crisis similar to that in Greece and Ireland.

Economic growth was zero in the third quarter of the year.

The expansion in gross domestic product -- total economic output -- came to a halt after advancing 0.2 percent in the second quarter and 0.1 percent in the first, when Spain emerged from one of the deepest recessions in decades.

The government has suspended dozens of road and rail projects and cut civil servants' wages as part of deep spending cuts aimed at reining in the massive public deficit.

The government aims to bring the public deficit down to 6.0 percent of GDP in 2011 and to the eurozone limit of three percent in 2013. The deficit hit 11.1 percent of GDP last year, the third highest in the eurozone after Greece and Ireland.

The Spanish economy, Europe's fifth-largest, slumped into recession in 2008 as the bubble burst on a decade-long property boom and amid the global financial meltdown.

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