The Spanish annual rate of inflation rose by 0.3 percent to stand at 1.7 percent in May, it was confirmed by data released on Wednesday by the Spanish National Institute of Statistics (INE). The INE said rises in the price of food, non-alcoholic drinks, culture, leisure and transport were the \"most influential in the variation\" registered in May. Food and non-alcoholic drinks prices increased by 3.4 percent, or 0.8 percent up on 2012 figure, due to rising prices of fresh fruits and vegetables, while culture and leisure prices experienced a 1.6-percent increase in annual terms. Meanwhile, transport prices fell by 0.1 percent, a minor variation, due to a slight reduction in the cost of fuel and lubricants. The INE emphasizes the fact that household costs increased by 0.1 percent, which is less than the variation of the last year as a result of lower rises in the cost of natural gas. On a monthly basis, general prices were 0.2 percent up on April, with clothing and shoes registering a 2.2 percent increase in prices, perhaps because there were no sales being held during the month, The 1.7 percent general increase of prices coincides with the data advanced by the INE at the end of April and means that combined with falling wages, the purchasing power of average Spaniard continues to decline.