Spanish inflation rose to 2.6% year-on-year in August, boosted by higher fuel prices, preliminary data from the National Statistics Institute (INE) showed on Wednesday.

That was higher than the 2.3% rate in July, and in line with analysts' average forecast in a Reuters poll.

Still, August consumer prices rose at a slower pace than a year earlier, when inflation was 10.5%, INE said.

Spain has had one of the lowest inflation rates in the euro zone after it peaked at 10.8% in July 2022 and retreated towards the European Central Bank's 2% target.

Core inflation, which strips out volatile fresh food and energy prices, was 6.1% year-on-year, down from 6.2% in the year through July, the INE data showed.

Spain's European Union-harmonised 12-month inflation (HICP) was 2.4%, up from 2.1% in July and below the analysts' average estimate of 2.5%.

Marc de Muizon, senior economist at Deutsche Bank Research, said his bank expects Spain's HICP in 2024 to average 2.3% year-on-year and to fall below 2.0% in 2025. He added a move below 2% was unlikely in the near future in the absence of a "very large" negative shock on commodity prices". "I actually expect Spain inflation to go up again above 3.0% year-on-year in the last quarter of the year", he said. The Bank of Spain last Friday gave a less optimistic outlook for the euro zone, warning inflation in the bloc would remain above target for "an extended period of time". (Reporting by Jakub Olesiuk Editing by Pietro Lombardi and Mark Potter)