Spanish consumer prices slid 0.1% on a yearly basis in March, which was the first decline since the series started in 1961, the National Institute of Statistics or INE said Wednesday. The decline in March matched economists' expectations. In February, consumer prices were up 0.7%.

On the other hand, prices rose 0.2% in March compared to February, after remaining flat in last month. Economists were expecting prices to increase 0.3%.

According to INE, underlying annual inflation slowed to 1.3% from 1.6% in February.

The Harmonized Index of Consumer Prices or HICP recorded a monthly rise of 0.2% and an annual 0.1% fall in March. The statistical office confirmed the initial estimate and Spain became the first nation in the EU 16 to report a year-on-year slide in consumer prices.

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