spanish inflation drops to zero in february
Last Updated : GMT 07:21:17
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Arab Today, arab today

Spanish inflation drops to zero in February

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Spanish inflation drops to zero in February

Madrid - AFP

Spain's inflation rate dropped to zero in February, an official estimate showed Friday, as fears of a damaging deflationary spiral haunted sluggish eurozone economies. Consumer prices were unchanged in February after edging up by just 0.3 percent in January, according to preliminary data from the National Statistics Institute. Falling prices for fuel and lubricants kept a lid on inflation, the institute said in a report. February's inflation rate, if confirmed, was the lowest since October 2013 when consumer prices were also flat. The inflation rate in Spain, which crawled out of a two-year economic downturn in the second half of 2013, remains well below the European Central Bank's target for the eurozone of about 2.0 percent. While consumers may welcome low inflation, a broad, sustained decline in prices can lead shoppers and businesses to postpone purchases as they wait for prices to tumble even further. At the same time, it becomes harder to finance existing debts. The result can push an economy into a downward spiral. International Monetary Fund head Christine Lagarde warned last month that while growth in the global economy was picking up, there were "rising risks" of the "ogre" of deflation, or falling prices. European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi has said the eurozone is not in a deflationary period but that protracted low inflation "is a risk by itself" that needs monitoring.

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