Spain’s Inflation Rate Falls for Fifth Month on Recession

Spanish inflation eased for a fifth month in March as the euro area’s fourth-largest economy entered its second recession since 2009 amid continued austerity efforts.

Consumer prices, based on European Union calculations, rose 1.8 percent from a year earlier, the slowest pace since August 2010, and less than the 1.9 percent increase in February, the National Statistics Institute in Madrid said today. The rise was in line with economists’ forecasts, according to the median of 11 predictions in a Bloomberg News survey.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, in power since December, has pledged to present cuts worth 3.2 percent of gross domestic product in his 2012 budget tomorrow to comply with EU limits even as he forecasts the economy will contract 1.7 percent.

The government expects inflation to slow to 1 percent this year. The European Commission has forecast that Spanish consumer-price growth will ease to 1.3 percent from 3.1 percent in 2011.

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