(Updates with retail sales in second paragraph.)
Nov. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Spanish inflation eased in November after growth in the euro area’s fourth-largest economy stalled in the third quarter and the highest unemployment rate in Europe led consumers to rein in spending.
Consumer prices, based on European Union calculations, rose 2.9 percent from a year earlier, slowing from 3 percent in October, the National Statistics Institute said today. Retail sales fell 7 percent in October from a year ago, the most since June, the Madrid-based institute said in a separate report.
Spain’s economy is struggling to recover from a three-year slump as households spend less to pay off one of the largest private-debt burdens in the euro region. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development cut its 2012 growth forecast for Spain to 0.3 percent from 1.6 percent yesterday, and said it sees unemployment peaking at 22.9 percent next year.
The European Central Bank cut interest rates on Nov. 3, lowering the benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points to 1.25 percent as its president, Mario Draghi, said “a mild recession” in the euro area loomed.
--With assistance by Ainhoa Goyeneche in Madrid, Editors: Eddie Buckle, Andrew Davis
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