Spain's consumer prices rose 3.2% year-on-year in May, preliminary data from the National Statistics Institute (INE) showed on Tuesday.

The 12-month inflation was lower than the 4.1% rate in April and also below the 3.5% expected by analysts polled by Reuters. The indicator was not that low since the period through July 2021, when prices rose 2.9%.

The lower inflation in May year-on-year was mainly due to a drop in fuel prices and a food price increase slowdown, INE said.

Core inflation, which strips out volatile fresh food and energy prices, was 6.1% year-on-year, down from 6.6% in the period through April, the INE data showed.

Spain's European Union-harmonised 12-month inflation was 2.9%, down from 3.8% in April and below the 3.4% average expectation from analysts polled by Reuters.

In the period through April, the Spanish inflation was much lower than in the rest of the 20-nation euro zone. The 12-month EU-harmonised inflation in the period though April was 7.0%. (Reporting by Joao Manuel Mauricio in Gdansk, editing by Inti Landauro)