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Economy in Brief

Italy's Inflation: Overall Under Control With Some Underlying Erosion
by Robert Brusca October 15, 2007

Italy’s inflation has fallen for the overall measure. But the chart also shows that the CORE inflation has been on a gradually elevating trend. Both the core and headline rate accelerated slightly in terms of their Yr/Yr rates in September. Still, the core and the overall rates are nicely below the ECB’s overall 2% inflation ceiling.

In September, Italy’s inflation report was turbulent. It was bifurcated, with six categories showing inflation on the month (m/m %) of 0.3% or greater. But there were also five main categories with the monthly price level actually falling by 0.2% or more. Food, alcohol and education prices were up the most in the month. The weakest prices were at restaurants and hotels, for recreation and culture and for communications. With this sort of turbulence in the market, it is a difficult time to get a read on true inflation trends in Italy. Diffusion readings show that over 3 months and 6 months inflation is accelerating in more categories that it is decelerating. Year-over-year, Italy’s trends are neutral.

Italy HICP and CPI details
  Mo/Mo % Saar % Yr/Yr
  Sep-07 Aug-07 Jul-07 3-Mo 6-Mo 12-Mo Yr Ago
HICP Total 0.3% 0.2% -0.1% 1.5% 1.7% 1.8% 2.3%
Core #N/A 0.2% 0.0% #N/A #N/A #N/A 2.0%
CPI
All 0.2% 0.1% 0.2% 1.8% 2.3% 1.7% 2.1%
CPI excl Tobacco 0.2% 0.1% 0.3% 2.1% 2.3% 1.6% 2.1%
Food 0.7% 0.4% 0.4% 6.1% 4.3% 2.9% 2.4%
Alcohol 0.6% 0.6% -0.7% 2.2% 2.5% 2.4% 5.1%
Clothing & Shoes 0.3% 0.2% 0.2% 2.4% 1.7% 1.5% 1.3%
Rent & Utilities 0.3% 0.2% 0.0% 1.9% 1.1% 1.4% 5.7%
Housing & Furniture 0.2% 0.2% 0.2% 2.2% 3.5% 2.8% 1.5%
Health Care -0.2% 0.2% 0.1% 0.3% -0.8% -0.2% 0.0%
Transport -0.2% -0.7% 0.6% -1.4% 2.4% 2.0% 2.0%
Communication -0.3% 0.0% 0.0% -1.1% -1.4% -8.8% -3.4%
Recreation & Culture -0.4% 0.3% 0.1% 0.0% -0.5% 0.2% 1.1%
Education 0.9% 0.1% 0.2% 5.4% 4.0% 3.1% 2.1%
Restaurant & Hotel -0.5% 0.3% 0.3% 0.5% 2.4% 2.4% 2.4%
Other 0.3% 0.3% 0.2% 3.2% 3.3% 2.5% 2.7%
Diffusion       58.3% 66.7% 50.0%  
Type: Diffusion: Compared to 6-mo 12-mo Yr-Ago --
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