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In March 2017, the Italian consumer price index for the whole nation (NIC) was stable on monthly basis and increased by 1.4% compared with March 2016, down from +1.6% in February 2017. The flash estimate was confirmed.
In March, the annual rate of change of All items index was still mainly due to prices of Non-regulated energy products (+11.3%, from +12.1% in the previous month), Unprocessed food (+6.2%, from +8.8% in February) and Services related to transport (+2.5%, from +2.4%).
Therefore, excluding energy and unprocessed food, core inflation was +0.7%, up from +0.6% in the previous month; excluding energy the inflation was +1.2%, down from +1.3% in February.
The annual rate of change of prices of Goods was +1.7% (down from +2.0% in February) and the annual rate of change of prices of Services was +1.0% (up from +0.9% in the previous month). As a consequence, the negative inflationary gap between Services and Goods resized with respect to February (-0.7 percentage points from -1.1).
The stability on monthly basis of All items index was the result of changes of prices close to zero of most part of the types of product. The exceptions were on one side the prices of Unprocessed food (-2.7%) and on the other side the prices of Services related to transport which increased by 1.1%.
Prices of Grocery and unprocessed food decreased by 0.9% on monthly basis and increased by 2.3% on annual basis (from +3.1% in the previous month).
In March 2017, the rate of change of Italian harmonized index of consumer prices (HICP) increased by 1.9% compared with the previous month and by 1.4% with respect to March 2016 (the annual rate of change observed in February was +1.6%). The flash estimate was +1.3%.
The increase on monthly basis was mainly due to the end of the winter sales of Clothing and footwear (+28.6% compared with February 2017), which are not taken into account in the national index NIC.
In March, core inflation, measured by Italian HICP, was +0.7% (up from +0.6% in February). Inflation excluding Energy, food, alcohol and tobacco was +0.6% (down from +0.7% in February). Also inflation excluding Energy increased by 1.1% (from +1.3% in the previous month).
In March 2017, the Italian harmonized index of consumer prices at constant tax rates (HICP-CT) increased by 1.9% compared with the previous month and by 1.4% with respect to March 2016 (as HICP). Therefore, the difference between HICP and HICP-CT growth rates - which incorporates the effects of changes in indirect taxes occurred in the last twelve months - was null.