Spain’s consumer prices for March dip only 0.1 per cent, half earlier estimate

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MADRID – Spain’s statistics office says prices were 0.1 per cent lower in March than the year before, slightly less than the previous estimate of 0.2 per cent.

The figures released Friday by the National Statistics Institute may ease concerns that the country will suffer a prolonged bout of deflation, or falling prices. Deflation can weigh on growth by prompting consumers to delay purchases and businesses to refrain from investing.

Though price pressures are muted across the 18-country eurozone, they are still rising, albeit at only 0.5 per cent in the year to April.

The European Central Bank is keeping a close watch on developments and may enact further stimulus measures if deflation across the eurozone becomes a real probability. Its target is to have inflation just below 2 per cent across the eurozone.

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