2023.02.0113:14:00UTC+00Italy Inflation Eases To 10.1% On Lower Energy Costs, Manufacturing Stabilizes

Italy's consumer price inflation eased notably at the start of the year, primarily due to a sharp reduction in the prices of regulated energy goods, preliminary data from the statistical office ISTAT showed on Wednesday. Separately, a results of the purchasing managers' survey by S&P Global showed that the Italian manufacturing economy showed signs of stabilization at the start of the year.

Consumer price inflation eased to 10.1 percent in January from a revised 11.6 percent in December. That was also in line with economists' forecasts.

The slowdown in inflation in January was largely driven by a 10.9 percent fall in costs for regulated energy goods, which was a trend reversal from the 70.2 percent surge in December.

Utility costs alone climbed 35.2 percent annually in January, and prices for food and non-alcoholic beverages rose 12.8 percent. Transport charges were 7.4 percent more expensive compared to last year.

Excluding energy and fresh food, core inflation accelerated to 6.0 percent from 5.8 percent.

EU harmonized inflation also eased to 10.9 percent in January from 12.3 percent in the previous month, as expected.

On a monthly basis, the harmonized index of consumer prices dropped 1.3 percent. The consumer price index increased 0.2 percent versus an expected rise of 0.1 percent.

The manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index, or PMI, rose to 50.4 in January from 48.5 in the previous month, the S&P Global survey showed. A score above 50 indicates expansion in the sector.

In January, output returned to marginal growth, orders fell to a much lesser degree and employment rose again.

While cost inflation fell to its lowest level in nearly two and a half years, expectations about the future improved, the survey revealed.

"However, many firms are looking to claw back margins through chunky upticks in their own output charges, and with labor market conditions remaining tight, core inflationary pressures could become a major concern in the months ahead," Paul Smith, economics director at S&P Global market intelligence, said.

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