Spain's four percent inflation of late 2002 now looks safely in the past and underlying inflation, which strips out volatile fresh food and energy prices, was 2.9 percent in both June and July its lowest level since November 2000, Guindos said. Like Fernandez, other economists are less optimistic than Guindos about the next few months. Among the risks are rising tourism and fuel prices and the impact of adverse weather conditions, economists at the Spanish Chambers of Commerce said in a note. That could mean June's 2.7 percent rate marks the bottom of the downward trend in prices this year and they will be rising by around three percent at the end of the year, they added. The heat wave that has scorched Europe for the last three weeks has pushed up electricity prices, as air conditioning works harder, and has driven up the price of poultry. Chickens are particularly sensitive to high temperatures. Poultry prices rose almost seven percent monthonmonth in July and 9.1 percent compared with a year earlier.
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