Prices are rising in Málaga more than the national Spanish average

by Lorraine Williamson
Malaga cost of living higher than national average

MáLAGA – The consumer price index (CPI) for the province of Málaga rose by 5.5% in Málaga in October, while the national inflation rate that month was 5.4%t. Compared to a year ago, the general price level has increased by 5.5%. 

The statistics are clear. Prices in Malaga have risen more than the national average, although this trend has weakened somewhat in October. According to the National Institute of Statistics (INE), the consumer price index (CPI) in the province is at its highest level since April 1995. Since January, the distance has expanded to three tenths: a 5.3% increase in Malaga and 5% in the whole country. 

General trend

The price increases only seem to be getting worse, as the rate of increase was 4.3% in September. The general trend during the pandemic, even at the worst times, is that prices in Malaga fall less or rise more than in the rest of Spain, as is happening now. 

In price statistics, the annual and monthly calculations must be distinguished. The annual figures indicate how much they have increased compared to a year ago and the monthly figures compared to the previous month. In the year-on-year evolution, we see that practically all product groups increased the rate (but below 2%) which is considered a sign of a healthy economy and which the European Central Bank (ECB) sets as a target in its statutes. 

Higher than the national average

However, two categories bounced back in a spectacular way and these largely determine the final overall picture. On the one hand, housing costs – of which electricity and gas are fundamental components – increased in Málaga by 21.8% (fuel increased by 54%) and transport costs by 13.3% (18.2% for personal vehicles). In both cases, the percentages for Málaga are higher than the national average. 

Education is the third-largest source of pressure on household spending, with an increase of 1.8%. Only telecommunications prices fell by 0.3% year on year. The rest of the product and service groups are increasing in price. 

Month on month overview less reliable 

The monthly evolution (October compared to September) is less reliable for two reasons. On the one hand, you see less of the trend because a shorter period is considered, and on the other, the data here is strongly conditioned by the situation. For example, after a period of sales, it makes sense that in commercial activity, prices will rise significantly the following month; Or, in the tourist season, it is normal for the prices for hotels to increase. 

Food and textiles 

Two very sensitive sectors for consumer wallets, food, and textiles, are exhibiting month-on-month behaviour very similar to previous years: food prices rose 1.5% in October compared to September, and that is even less than in the same month of 2020 and 2019; and in textiles, they were up 8.2%, something notable but nothing exceptional after the July and August marketing season. 

On an annual basis, even the food category moderates its progress (from 2% in September to 1.5% in October). The increase so far this year, since January 1, 2021, is 3.9%, so quite much for families with few resources. Alcoholic beverages and tobacco also rose 1%. That may not seem like much, but it is the highest level since May 2018. Within this group, non-alcoholic drinks increased by 6.6%. 

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