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Spanish Underlying Inflation Rate Declines as Recession Deepens

Spain’s core inflation rate dropped in November from a four-high year as the euro region’s fourth-largest economy was on track to shrink for a sixth straight quarter, easing pressure on prices.

Annual core inflation, which excludes energy and fresh food prices, fell to 2.3 percent from 2.5 percent a month earlier, the National Statistics Institute in Madrid said today. That compares with a 2.2 percent median forecast of four estimates in a Bloomberg survey. Underlying prices rose 0.2 percent from October.

Spain is facing a deepening recession as Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy struggles to tackle a budget deficit that matches that of Greece as the euro-area’s second biggest after Ireland. The European Central Bank last week cut its 2013 inflation forecast for the region and left the door open for a benchmark interest rate cut as it sees the economy shrinking next year.

Spain’s headline inflation rate, based on EU calculations, was 3 percent, matching an estimate published on Nov. 30. Excluding the impact of tax increases, the annual inflation rate was 0.9 percent, based on Spanish calculations.

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