In February 2019 the Italian consumer price index for the whole nation (NIC) increased by 0.1% on monthly basis and by 1.0% with respect to February 2018, up from +0.9% in the previous month. The flash estimate was +1.1%.
The slight acceleration of the growth on annual basis of All items index was mainly due to prices of Unprocessed food (from +1.7% to +3.7%) and Tobacco (from +2.9% to +4.5%), and, to a lesser extent, of Processed food including alcohol (from zero variation to +0.5%) and of Non-regulated energy products (from +0.3% to +0.8%). The slowdown of prices of Services related to transport (from +2.2% to +0.9%) and the wider decrease of prices of Services related to communication (from -2.0% to -4.8%) mitigated the effect of these accelerations.
The core inflation excluding energy and unprocessed food was +0.4% (down from +0.5% in the previous month) and inflation excluding energy was +0.7% (in acceleration from +0.6%).
The increase on monthly basis of All items index was especially due to prices of Unprocessed food (+1.3%), of Tobacco (+1.5%) and of Non-regulated energy products (+0.6%), partially offset by the decrease of Services related to communication (-2.7%).
The annual rate of change of prices of Goods was +1.3% (up from +0.7% in January) and that one of prices of Services was +0.7% (down from +1.1%). As a consequence, the inflationary gap between Services and Goods was negative again and equal to -0.6 percentage points (+0.4 in January).
Prices of Grocery and unprocessed food increased by 0.6% on monthly basis and by 1.6% on annual basis (from +0.6% in the previous month).
In February 2019, the Italian harmonized index of consumer prices (HICP) decreased by 0.3% compared with the previous month, mainly due to further winter sales of Clothing and footwear (-6.0% compared with January 2019), which are not taken into account in the national index NIC. The HICP increased by +1.1%, with respect to February 2018 (it was +0.9% in the previous month). The flash estimate was +1.2%.