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Spain's 12-month inflation slows to 7.3% in October

MADRID (Reuters) -Spain's consumer prices in the 12-month period to October rose 7.3%, slower than the 8.9% in the year to September, preliminary data from the National Statistics Institute (INE) showed on Friday.

The reading was the lowest since January and lower than the 8.1% forecast by analysts polled by Reuters.

Core inflation, which strips out volatile fresh food and energy prices, was at 6.2% year-on-year, unchanged from 6.2% in September, the INE data showed.

A fall in electricity prices compared to the same period last year and a moderation in gas prices were factors mentioned by the INE in its press release to explain the slowdown.

It also pointed to a moderation in the prices of footwear and clothing.

In October 2022, the measure to provide free rail travel and cheaper urban public transport went into force, affecting the overall price index.

Spain's European Union-harmonised 12-month inflation fell to 7.3%, down from 9.0% in September and below the 8.0% expected by analysts.

The government expects average inflation for the year to be 8.5%, and the effect of high prices is already reflected in the performance of the economy, which in the summer quarter slowed down to 0.2% compared to the previous quarter.

(Reporting by Marta Serafinko and Belén Carreño, editing by Inti Landauro and Andrew Cawthorne)