MADRID (Reuters) -Spanish consumer prices rose 6.0% in the 12 months through February, up from 5.9% in the period through January, final data released by the National Statistics Institute (INE) showed on Tuesday.
The final reading was lower than the 6.1% flash estimate released by INE two weeks ago. Analysts polled by Reuters had also seen 12-month inflation through February at 6.1%.
Fresh food prices recorded a significant rise in February, up 16.6% year-on-year, one point higher than in January, driven by rises in vegetables, legumes and meat.
The government approved a reduction in VAT on some basic food products at the beginning of the year, but although Economy Minister Nadia Calvino said the shopping basket had begun to stabilise, food prices have continued to rise.
Compared to the previous month, food prices rose 2%.
Processed food registered the highest increase with a 16.8% rise, pushing core inflation, which strips out volatile fresh food and energy prices, to 7.6% year-on-year, up from 7.5% a month before.
The core inflation rate was at its highest level since INE started reporting it in 2002.
The 12-month European Union-harmonised price was also revised down to 6.0% from a flash estimate of 6.1%, INE said.
(Reporting by Tiago Brandao and Belén Carreño; Editing by Inti Landauro and Jan Harvey)