According to preliminary estimates, in August 2020 the rate of change of the Italian consumer price index for the whole nation (NIC) was +0.3% on monthly basis and -0,5% on annual basis (-0.4% in July).
The enlargement of the negative inflation, still mainly caused by the confirmation of the drop of prices of both regulated (to -13.6% the same as in the previous month) and non-regulated energy products (from -9.0% in July to -8.6%), was mostly due to the further decrease of prices of Services related to transport (from -0.9% to -2.3%). The prices of processed food including alcohol (from +0.6% in July to 0.8%) and those of unprocessed food (from +2.5% to +2.0%) were confirmed to be growing.
Core inflation (excluding energy and unprocessed food) was +0.3% (down from +0.4% in the previous month) and inflation excluding energy was +0.4% (down from +0.6% in the previous month).
The increase on monthly basis was mainly due to the growth, mostly caused by seasonal factors, of prices of services related to transport (+3.0%) and of services related to recreation, including repair and personal care (+0.5%), only partially offset by the decrease of prices of unprocessed food (-0.6%).
Prices of grocery and unprocessed food registered a zero variation on monthly basis and increased by 1.1% on annual basis (down from +1.2% in the previous month).
In August 2020 the rate of change of the Italian harmonized index of consumer prices (HICP) was -1.3% with respect to the previous month and -0.5% on annual basis (reversing the trend from +0.8% in July). The turnaround of the HICP is due the postponed start of the summer sales (which NIC does not take into account) compared to last year (1 August 2020 in most regions; 1 July in 2019) which determined a decrease on monthly basis of prices of clothing and footwear much wider (-18.6%) than that of August 2019 (-6.6), with a consequent sharp slowdown of the growth on annual basis.
In August preliminary estimates of NIC and HICP have been carried out in the context of a further reduction of the seriousness of the Covid-19 crisis and the reopening of most of retail trade activities supplying goods and services.
Even if still high, the amount of missing observations decreased. On pages 11-12 the methodological note describes the choices adopted to deal with the ongoing issues.