The economic recovery, accompanied by a return to activity in more and more factories, businesses and offices, is driving price growth. In May they rose 2.7% compared to the same month of 2020, according to data published this Friday by the National Institute of Statistics. It is its highest threshold since February 2017, when inflation reached 3%. Among the items that increased the most are gasoline (24.2%), diesel (21.4%) or soft drinks (9.5%), but electricity stands out especially, whose price increased by 36.3%.
The data comes in the middle of the debate on the electricity bill, with the Executive looking for formulas to lower consumption. The Government intends to stop the so-called benefits fallen from the sky, the excess remuneration that companies get for the electricity they generate with their nuclear and hydroelectric plants whose works are already amortized. And it has overturned electricity rates since the beginning of June that generates dissension in Moncloa: two ministers of United We Can have asked to advance the off-peak time from midnight to 10 p.m. from Monday to Friday to lower the bill.
The rise in electricity in May is prior to the entry into force of the new rates and is conditioned by another factor: the rise in carbon dioxide emission rights (CO derechos), which is causing a rebound throughout Europe. In fact, the electricity bill rose in Spain in April by 46% compared to the same month last year, the largest increase since there are records, despite the fact that there were no large peaks in demand or prolonged drops in supply. This phenomenon did not stop in May, which has led users to have to make an extra financial effort. Currently these rights are priced above 50 euros per ton, more than double than a year ago.
Along with electricity, fuels are also noticing the solid recovery in the price of oil. A barrel of Brent and West Texas are trading above $ 70 and their rise seems unstoppable: With the recovery gaining traction, some analysts speculate that it could top $ 80 and even approach $ 100. This has translated into increases of 24.2% for gasoline and 21.4% for diesel in May.
Prices linked to tourism also show the influence of changes in habits due to the pandemic. Private health insurance rose 5.2% amid concern about the health situation. And with travel restrictions still present in many destinations, domestic tourist packages hold up much better: they are up 8.3%, compared to the 9.2% drop in international ones. This trend is also noticeable, although to a lesser extent, in flight prices: they have fallen by 5.8% for domestic destinations and 11.7% for international ones. Despite the increase in reservations after the exit from the state of alarm on May 9, hotels, hostels and pensions have not been able to recover the prices of yesteryear: they fell 26.3% compared to May last year.