Spain's inflation hits 10.8 pct, highest in 38 years

MADRID, Aug. 12 (Xinhua) -- Spain's inflation rate climbed to 10.8 percent in July, the highest in 38 years, according to data published by the Spanish Statistical Institute (INE) on Friday.

In June, inflation stood at 10.2 percent.

INE has attributed the rise to higher electricity prices, coupled with price hikes for food and non-alcoholic drinks.

The new data have confirmed INE's preliminary predictions made on July 29 and shown that inflation is now at its highest level in Spain since September 1984.

Under its impact, the Spaniards have seen significant increases in the prices of eggs, milk and other dairy products, as well as meat, bread and cereals.

Electricity price also hiked in July, becoming one of the main causes of inflation.

Statistics show continued price hikes since the start of 2021. The inflation rate, still at 0 percent in February last year, has been rising consistently mainly due to rising energy prices. By the end of last year, the consumer price index (CPI) stood at 6.5 percent.

Inflation continued to rise at the start of this year and jumped to 9.8 percent in March, coinciding with the start of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, and climbed persistently until the current level except for April.

The Spanish government has tried to combat rising energy costs by lowering value-added tax on energy bills and reaching an agreement with the European Union allowing it to limit the effects of gas prices on the cost of electricity, as well as financing a 20-cent per liter reduction in the cost of gasoline.

However, with a severe drought that is likely to affect farm produce including olives, fruit and vegetables, food prices are set to rise further in the coming months, according to local media reports.

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