In January 2014, the Italian consumer price index for the whole nation (NIC) rose by 0.2% compared with the previous month and by 0.7% with respect to January 2013 (the same annual rate of December 2013). Final data confirm the provisional ones.
The stability of inflation was due, on the one hand, to the reduction of inflationary trend for most aggregates of goods and services, especially for Unprocessed food and, on the other hand, to the acceleration of the annual growth of prices of Services related to transport and, to a lesser extent, to the further reduction of the decline, on annual basis, of prices of Non-regulated energy products.
Core inflation (All-items excluding energy and unprocessed food) rose to 1.0% from 0.9% in December 2013; whereas, excluding energy, the inflation was stable to 1.0%.
The increase on monthly basis of All items index was mainly due to seasonal factors, which had an impact on the large rise of prices of Fresh vegetables (+4.6% compared with December) and to the monthly price increases of most aggregates of goods and services; the monthly decrease of prices of Services related to transport (-0.6%) ‒ mainly due to seasonal factors too ‒ had a downward impact.
The annual rate of prices of Goods fell to 0.3% (from +0.4% in December), while the annual rate of prices of Services rose to 1.1% (+1.0% in the previous month). As consequence, the inflationary gap between Services and Goods increased by 0.2 percentage points with respect to December 2013.
In January 2014, the Italian harmonized index of consumer prices (HICP) decreased by 2.1% compared with the previous month and rose by 0.6% with respect to January 2013 (0.1 lower than in December 2013). Final data confirm the preliminary ones. The large decrease on monthly basis was mainly due to the winter sales of Clothing and footwear (-22.2% compared with December 2013), which are not taken into account in the national index NIC.
Core inflation measured by Italian HICP was 1.0%, up from 0.9% in December. The Italian HICP, excluding energy, food, alcohol and tobacco rose by 0.9% (the same annual rate of December); whereas the Italian HICP, excluding energy, increased by 1.1% on annual basis (0.2 higher than in the previous month).
In January 2014, the Italian harmonized index of consumer prices at constant tax rates (HICP-CT) decreased by 2.0% compared with December 2013 and rose by 0.3% with respect to January 2013. The difference between the HICP and HICP-CT growth rates was equal to 0.3 percentage points (0.1 lower than in December). This difference incorporates the effects of changes in indirect taxes, which occurred in the last twelve months and, in particular, the impact of the increase of the standard VAT rate from 21% to 22%, in force from the 1st October 2013 (Law n. 99 of the 9th August 2013). It should be noted that it represents the upper limit of the impact of changes in indirect taxes occurred in the last twelve months on HICP, assuming their full and instantaneous pass-through on the prices paid by the consumers.
Note: On February 21, 2014, at 12:15, the Press release “Consumer Prices – final data of January 2014,” has been replaced as a result of revision of some figures of HICP indices. Revised data are flagged with (r).