Inflation slows down but the shopping cart remains heavy

Istat: cost of life up 7.7% in March from 9.1% the previous month. The decline is due to the drop in the cost of energy. But the increases in the prices of food and other most purchased products remain unchanged. Inflation bites less also in the rest of the Eurozone, but we are far from the targets set by the European Central Bank

The cost of living is holding back and slowing it down are energy prices. But inflation remains high and continues to weigh on wages, pensions and businesses. The decline in March is nonetheless a good sign, because it confirms a turnaround, given the decrease of 0.3 points compared to the previous month, which brings the annual increase to 7.7 percent.

Lighter bills

Electricity, gas and petrol, which have risen dramatically first with the pandemic and then with the war in Ukraine, have suffered declines in recent times. This is how – Istat tells us – a cut in bill rates on the protected market (that is, the one regulated by the State) while for those with a free contract, and for fuel, the drop is more modest.

At the supermarket prices still high

However, the situation for the shopping trolley, i.e. food and goods for home and personal care, has not changed, with prices nailed to the February levels (+12.7 per cent on an annual basis). All of this obviously has repercussions on the pockets of Italians, only partially protected by public aid, and consumer associations calculate that for a couple with two children this year the additional outlay will be around 2,300 euros.

Inflation falls in the Eurozone

Also in the rest of Europe inflation runs slower and in March, on average, it was 6.9 per cent. A lower share than that of our country, which has levels higher than Germany (7.4 per cent), France (6.6) and Spain (3.3). But this fifth monthly decline in the Eurozone probably won’t give much relief to the ECB, which is aiming for 2 percent inflation, and therefore probably will continue to raise rates (now at 3.5 percent).