Italy's inflation rate highest in the European Union
Rome- One out of three families has had to resort to savings in order to compensate for the staggering 10.1 percent inflation rate in Italy, the state-run ISTAT statistics agency says.
Although Italy’s inflation rate has dropped 1.5 percent, compared to the 11.6 percent rate in December, it is still the only country in the EU with an inflation rate in the double digits according to Istat. The drop occurred only because the energy prices have decreased however “core inflation” which is inflation excluding energy and fresh food continues to rise, having gone up from 5.8 percent to 6 percent. Furthermore, according to the harmonized index of consumer prices which Eurostat uses to compare countries, Italy has gone from 12.3 percent to 10.9 percent. Although this drop is quite significant the inflation rate remains steep when compared to other European nations such as Spain has an inflation rate of 5.8 percent or France which has one of 7 percent and rising.
The staggering inflation rate has caused a parallel trend of real income decreasing which has led more than a third of families to dip into their savings according to the Bank of Italy.
This is the highest inflation rate Italy has seen in 39 years, with the last peak being in September 1984. A survey by Altroconsumo has indicated that due to inflation, 42 percent of the sample interviewed has experienced difficulty paying their bills while 20 percent buy less food products in general. Habits related to food are also changing, with 20 percent of the sample buying less food: 31 percent consume less meat and fish, 16 percent decrease their consumption of fruit and vegetables and 37 percent draw on accumulated savings to address everyday needs. Furthermore, there has been an increased number of people unable to set aside savings at the end of the month, with a current 41 percent of people struggling to save money.
The data has confirmed that the group most predominantly affected were people who were already in a fragile socio-economic state, with 44 percent of the sample reporting they have felt a “very negative impact on their daily life”, 57 percent disclosing they have cut back on cultural activities and 59 percent having drastically decreased their vacation and leisure time budget, according to Altroconsumo. Only 2 percent of people have claimed that inflation has not yet impacted their spending habits, and the vast majority of the sample indicates that inflation is disrupting their daily lives.
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