Although the price of goods and services has risen exponentially across the European Union over the past year, the EU’s Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP) showcases how Spain is where the cost difference is greatest, especially when looking at the EU’s largest economies: Germany, France, Italy and Spain.
The HICP represents the change over time in the prices of consumer goods and services purchased by euro area households.
It’s “harmonised” because all the countries in the EU follow the same methodology, ensuring that the data for one country can be compared with the data for another.
Spain is moving past most of its European neighbours in terms of this harmonised inflation rate. It’s 1.8 percent higher than that of the eurozone and 0.9 percent above the EU average.
Spain’s HICP stood at 10.7 percent in July compared to 6.8 percent in France, 8.4 percent in Italy or 8.5 percent in Germany.
There are 13 other EU nations where the HICP is higher than Spain’s (including Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia where the rate is now above 20 percent), but these are deemed smaller EU economies.
Based on data from Spain’s National Statistics Institute, the biggest price increases in July 2022 compared to figures from July 2021 were electricity (49 percent more expensive), hotels (33.8 percent more costly), fuel and gas (23.9 percent higher), international flights (+21.6 percent) and grocery shopping (+13.5 percent).
The Spanish government has implemented measures aimed at stopping the spiralling costs of electricity, fuel and rent, but the evidence suggests that they have been less effective than similar methods used in the EU’s other major economies, despite the fact that Spain is less dependent on Russian gas.
According to Spanish think tank Funcas, the country’s inflation rate will remain in double digits throughout August and will start to drop throughout autumn until reaching 8 percent by December.
INE reported in mid-July that the country’s 10.2 inflation rate was the highest level the country had experienced since 1985.