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Italy’s government works hard to bring prices down

Prices in Italy rose last month less than any of the European Union’s (EU) large economies, data released by Eurostat showed.

Eurostat, the EU’s statistics agency, said prices rose in Italy by just 0.9 percent in April compared to a year prior. The equivalent rate for the 20-nation euro currency zone was 2.4 percent while in the EU as a whole it was 2.6 percent.

The Eurostat figure was slightly higher than the revised calculation from ISTAT, Italy’s National Statistics Institute, which on Thursday said the consumer price index in the country climbed 0.8 percent in April.

Eurostat’s data showed that the only countries in the eurozone where prices rose by less were Lithuania (with a 0.4 percent increase) and Finland (with an increase of 0.6 percent). Prices rose by 0.5 percent in Denmark, which is a member of the EU, but not of the eurozone.

Italy’s government has worked hard to bring prices down after a spike that resulted in record-high inflation rates in 2022 and early 2023. It created a governmental “anti-inflation quarter” in the last three months of last year, artificially and temporarily reducing consumer prices on a basket of basic household necessities.

Price increases remained low even after the artificial price controls were lifted, ISTAT said, with rates of 0.8, 0.8, and 1.2 percent, respectively, over the first three months of the year, followed by the low rate in April. ■

Famagusta Gazette