Because inflation slows down, but prices continue to rise.

Inflation slows down in February, but the same cannot be said for consumer prices. According to the preliminary estimates published by Istat, the slowdown in inflation was confirmed and receded to +9.2% in the second month of the year, and regressed as the tension in the prices of regulated and non-regulated energy products decreased. However, price increase pressures that accelerated on a trend basis continued in the processed and unprocessed food products, tobacco and services sectors. As a result of these trends, annual growth in the core component (+6.4%) and the ‘shopping basket’ accelerated to +13.0%, following the slowdown observed in January. .

Inflation slows in February: Istat data

According to Istat’s preliminary estimates, in February the national consumer price index for the entire community, gross tobacco, increased by 0.3% month-on-month and 9.2% year-on-year, from +10.0% the previous month. The main reason for the slowdown in the inflation rate is the worsening annual decline in the prices of regulated energy products (from -12.0% to -16.7%) and the effects of slowing (from +) unregulated energy prices on food and processed (+%) From 14.9% to +16.2%) and unprocessed (from +8.0% to +8.4%), tobacco products (from zero trend variation to +1.8%, entertainment, culture and personal care prices (from +5.5% to +6.1%) and transport-related services (from +5.9% to +6.3%).

(stat source)

The statistics institute then explains in detail, ‘core inflation’ excluding energy and fresh food, from +6.0% in the previous month to +6.4%, net energy excluding goods only from +6.2% to +6% It accelerates to .5. While the annual growth of goods prices slowed (from +14.1% to +12.5%), the price increase for services accelerated (from +4.2% to +4.4%). services and goods sectors rose to -8.1 percent from -9.9 percent in January.

(stat source)

The cyclical increase in the general index was mainly unprocessed food (+2.2%), tobacco (+1.9%), processed food (+1.5%), durable and non-durable goods (+0.8% and +0%). 6) is due to their price. % respectively), transport-related services (+0.7%), leisure, cultural and personal care services, and residential-related services (+0.5% both); instead, a containment effect is due to the fall in both regulated (-5.2%) and unregulated (-4.2%) energy prices. Finally, Istat announced that inflation for 2023 is +5.5% for the overall index and +3.7% for the fundamental component. According to preliminary estimates, the harmonized consumer prices Ipca index increased by 0.2% month-on-month and 9.9% year-on-year (slowing from +10.7% in January).

(stat source)

“Shopping Cart Prices Keep Increasing”

Therefore, as inflation slows, prices continue to rise, putting more and more strain on Italians’ pockets, as condemned by the Codacons: “In February, inflation fell only in fast Energy products, while the prices of shopping trolleys and frequently bought items continued to rise, resulting in families’ families being left behind. He empties his pockets,” he said.

The association calculates that 9.2% inflation equates to a higher expenditure of +2,691 euros per year for the ‘typical’ family, compared to +3,485 euros for a household with two children. Despite the slowdown in the overall rate recorded by Istat in the last two months, the prices of the items most bought by citizens remain very high and the shopping cart has even increased to +13.0% from +12.0% last year. , high frequency purchased products increased from +8.9% to +9.0%.

“It’s clear that the drop in inflation is a completely misleading figure, the drop in regulated and unregulated energy tariffs is changing the overall Istat figure,” says Carlo Rienzi, president of Codacons. existence of a price emergency that is increasingly emptying their pockets”.

The fall in inflation does not solve the concrete problems of Italian families, as underlined by Massimiliano Dona, head of the National Consumers’ Union: “The fall in inflation continues, thanks first of all to the fall in energy products and especially gas shielded products. Since February 2022, it has increased by 42.9%. collapsed market rises 72.9% in the free market despite finally starting to fall by 15.4% month-on-month against -14.1% of the hedged market.Tax reduction will be made in the next quarter, but condominiums will be in less than a month The expiration of the protection period, which was planned to be enlightened on April 1, 2023, should also be postponed”.

“However, we should not be fooled by the decline in inflation, which does not solve the problems of families. In fact, lower inflation means that prices continue to rise, albeit to a lesser degree, even though they have already reached stellar levels. First, in short, the cost of living is rising, albeit at a slower pace. inflation of 9.2% for the couple means a pain of 2,854 euros on an annual basis, of which 1,038 is an additional expense for a couple with 1 child for food only 2,632 euros, 937 euros for food and drinks, on average for a family The increase is 2,218 euros, 761 euros for food and soft drinks. Always a blow to large families with more than 3 children, equal to 3,212 euros, 1,240 just to feed themselves”, concludes Dona.

“The state of emergency is not over yet”

As Assoutenti puts it, a real emergency is “not yet overcome”: “The fall in inflation in February is due solely to the fall in tariffs for regulated and unregulated energy products. On prices and inflation – President Furio Truzzi explains – it’s too early to say victory. dynamics still show heavy increases for primary goods such as food, which rose +1.8% month-on-month to +13.5% year-on-year in February. He finds himself spending +761 euros on the ‘typical’ family”.

“On the price front, – Truzzi concludes – we are still in a state of utter emergency, there is a slow and sustained erosion of citizens’ incomes and purchasing power, and the Government needs to intervene by strengthening the powers of the Price Guarantor and the quick alert commission on prices to control retail price lists and above all to work with consumer associations to examine structural measures to counter the speculation that still exists on the price front in our country today.”

Source: Today IT