Spain's European-Union harmonised inflation rose 3.2% in the 12 months through March, up from 2.9% increase in the period through February, preliminary data from the National Statistics Institute (INE) showed on Wednesday.

The 12-month harmonised inflation was below the 3.3% expected by analysts polled by Reuters.

Core inflation, which strips out volatile fresh food and energy prices, rose 3.3% in the 12 months through February, down from 3.5% in the previous month, INE said.

Spanish 12-month national consumer prices rose 3.2% through March, up from a 2.8% increase in February and in line with expectation of analysts polled by Reuters. (Reporting by Tiago Brandao, editing by Pietro Lombardi)