Consumer prices were revised down in the final data for August. However, a 0.4 percent monthly increase still lifted annual inflation by 0.1 percentage points versus July's final mark to 1.6 percent, its highest rate since April 2017.
The flash HICP was also trimmed a tick and now shows a 0.2 percent monthly dip that reduced its annual rate from 1.9 percent to also 1.6 percent. Note that the monthly decrease here was mainly due to summer sales of clothing and footwear which are not taken into account in the national CPI.
The acceleration in the yearly CPI rate was largely attributable to higher rates in transport (2.8 percent after 1.7 percent) and, to a lesser extent, processed food (2.3 percent after 1.8 percent). Partial offsets were provided by energy (7.7 percent after 7.9 percent) and unprocessed food (3.1 percent after 3.6 percent). As a result, the core CPI, which excludes unprocessed food and energy, climbed a tick to 0.8 percent.
Despite August's surprising strength, underlying inflation currents are still soft and with the retail sector continuing to struggle (sales have fallen in four of the last five months), look likely to remain so over the foreseeable future.