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The increase in prices is ahead of the economic recovery due to the rise in electricity and fuel prices


The data marks a strong change in trend after the price falls of 2020

Repsol gas station in Madrid.JAVI MARTNEZTHE WORLD
The increase in prices anticipates the recovery of the economy. In March, the CPI that measures the evolution of the cost of the shopping basket for households registered an increase of 1.3%, according to the INE published on Tuesday. This is the largest annual comparative increase since April 2019 and, above all, it already shows a clear trend in the recovery of prices when GDP is still in negative figures.

The rise in prices catches the consumer still weighed down by the fall in income that the coronavirus crisis is supposing between layoffs, ERTE and salary cuts. The slowdown in activity provided a respite for 9 months – from April to December – in which the cost of living registered a succession of falls compared to the months prior to the outbreak of the pandemic.

If the comparison is made in monthly terms, that is, compared to February 2021, the increase is 1%. It is also the largest price increase in the last two years.

The increase in the CPI in March was linked to the rising cost of electricity and fuel. Core inflation – which does not take into account unprocessed food and energy products as they are the most volatile – stood at 0.3%, the same rate as in February and one point below the general CPI.

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In 2020, in the midst of the impact of the pandemic on the economy, prices gave consumers a break, especially in those sectors that were most burdened by confinement and sanitary restrictions. The year closed with setbacks, for example, in the field of leisure and transport – linked to the discounts that companies had to make to try to reactivate consumption – and they were extended to others such as housing or communications.

According to the criteria of

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