Spanish inflation up 9.8% in March, biggest rise since 1985

MADRID (AP) — Inflation in Spain hit a 37-year high in March, rising to 9.8% over the past year as consumer prices have soared worldwide.

The provisional figure, the highest since May 1985, is an increase over the 7.6% annual inflation rate reported for February, the country’s national statistics office said Wednesday.

Inflation was widespread, driven by hikes in electricity, fuel, food and non-alcoholic beverages, the statistics office said.

The price increase comes after months of global inflation that has been exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Spain is among the 19 countries that use the euro currency, which as a whole saw a record 5.8% spike in inflation in February. The United States notched a 7.9% increase for the same month, the highest level since 1982.

In Spain, Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez told Spain’s Parliament on Wednesday that 73% of the price increases are due to the disruptions to the energy and agriculture markets caused by the war.

Underlying inflation, which does not include energy or food products, was up 3.4% in Spain, its highest increase since September 2008.

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