Spanish inflation plummeted as energy costs fell, but persistent price pressures underscored the dilemma for the European Central Bank as it weighs how much to raise interest rates.
March's headline reading came in at 3.1% -- down from February's 6% and much lower than the 3.7% median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists.
The statistics institute said Thursday that core inflation, which excludes volatile items such as fuel and fresh produce, was only dipped a touch to 7.5%.
It is a similar situation in the 20 nation euro zone, where the two price gauges are also pulling in opposite directions. That is the most aggressive campaign in the history of the European Central Bank, which has clouded the monetary-policy path.
The task for officials in Frankfurt has been complicated as the tensions between banks around the world threaten to hinder credit and curb economic growth.
Peter Kazimir, a member of the ECB Governing Council, said on Wednesday that while the European Central Bank should keep raising rates, it should maybe do so more slowly, citing the real risk of banks curbing lending in the wake of the recent financial-industry turmoil.
The Spanish data gives a first taste of the euro zone's inflation this month, with numbers from Germany -- the continent's biggest economy - due later in the day, followed by figures from the bloc itself on Friday.
After Russia's invasion of Ukraine a year ago reversed, analysts expect sharp decelerations for both.
With help from Joel Rinneby and Ainhoa Goyeneche.
China didn't eat a lot of Developing Nations. Now It's helping Them manage their debt.