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Inflation in Italy surges to highest level in 36 years

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Rome, July 2 (Ajit Weekly News) Prices in Italy were 8 per cent higher in June than a year earlier, marking the highest one-month increase in prices in 36 years, the country’s National Statistics Institute (ISTAT) said.

The year-on-year increase was far higher than in May, when prices rose 6.8 percent, a level that was itself the highest one-month increase since Italy adopted the euro currency in 1999, Xinhua news agency quoted the ISTAT as saying in a report.

But the last time prices rose as much in one month as in June was in January 1986, when Italy still used the now-defunct lira as its national currency.

On a month-to-month basis, prices in June were 1.2-per cent higher than in May, the institute said.

ISTAT said prices were victims of “widespread inflationary tensions” led by energy prices, which were 48.7 per cent higher in June than a year earlier. That is higher than the 42.6 per cent increase between May 2021 and May 2022.

The main factor pushing energy prices higher is the Russia-Ukraine war.

Higher energy prices have also pushed prices higher for processed food (8.2 per cent higher in June), non-processed food (9.6 per cent higher), recreational and personal care services (up 5.0 per cent), transport (7.2 per cent higher), and general services (up 3.4 per cent), since all those areas rely heavily on energy use.

Other factors, such as the unusually hot and dry summer in Italy, are seen as reducing domestic agricultural output by as much as a third this year.

But those developments are too recent to be fully reflected in the June inflation figure.

–Ajit Weekly News

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