In October 2017, the Italian consumer price index for the whole nation (NIC) decreased by 0.2% on monthly basis and increased by 1.0% compared with October 2016 (it was +1.1% in September 2017). The flash estimate was confirmed.
In October, the slight slowdown of the growth on annual basis of All items index was mainly due to prices of Services – miscellaneous (within which University education is included), that decreased by 1.1% (from +0.6% in September) for the changes established by some of legal provisions of the Stability Law n. 232/2016 (article 1, section 252-267) on university student contribution, which generally concerned all Italian state Universities. These legal provisions introduced the exemption from payment of the annual all-inclusive contribution for those students belonging to a household whose Equivalent Economic Situation Indicator is lower than 13,000 euros (so called no tax area) and the partial exemption from payment of the annual all-inclusive contribution for some groups of students belonging to households whose Equivalent Economic Situation Indicator is between 13,001 and 30,000 euros (so called low tax area). The slowdown was partially offset by prices of Unprocessed food, that accelerated (+3.8%, from +2.1% in September) as well as by prices of Regulated energy products (+3.9% from 2.9%).
As a consequence, Excluding energy and unprocessed food, core inflation was +0.5% (0.2 percentage points lower than in September) and inflation excluding energy was +0.7% (down from +0.8% in the previous month).
On monthly basis, over the declines, partially due to seasonal factors, affecting Services related to transport (-1.5%) and Services related to recreation, including repair and personal care (-0.5%), the decrease of prices of Services – miscellaneous (-1.7%) meant that downward trends prevailed on the growth of Unprocessed food prices (+1.7%) and of both Regulated (+1.0%) and Non-regulated energy products (+1.2%), thus leading to a decline in All items index.
The annual rate of change of prices of Goods was +1.2% (up from +1.0% in September) and that one of prices of Services was +0.7% (down from +1.3%). As a consequence, the inflationary gap between Services and Goods was negative again and equal to -0.5 percentage points.
Prices of Grocery and unprocessed food increased by 0.7% on monthly basis and by 1.7% on annual basis (up from +1.1% in the previous month).
In October 2017, the rate of change of Italian harmonized index of consumer prices (HICP) was null compared with the previous month (the very end of summer sales of clothing and footwear, that are not taken into account in the Italian consumer price index for the whole nation – NIC, offset the sharp decrease of prices of Education) and +1.1% with respect to October 2016 (it was +1.3% in the previous month). The flash estimate was confirmed.
Core inflation, measured by Italian HICP, was +0.5% (down from 1.0% in September). Also inflation excluding energy, food, alcohol and tobacco (+0.5%) and inflation excluding Energy (+0.8%) decelerated (both of them down from +1.1% in September).
In October 2017, the rate of change Italian harmonized index of consumer prices at constant tax rates (HICP-CT) was null compared with the previous month and increased by 1.1% with respect to October 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.