Tue, 22 Sep 2020

ROME, Aug. 12 (Xinhua) -- Consumer prices in Italy fell for the third consecutive month in July, Italy's National Statistics Institute (ISTAT) reported Wednesday.

The institute said that in overall terms, consumer prices fell by 0.4 percent in July, more severe than the 0.2-percent fall in prices in both May in June. All the figures are based on year-on-year comparisons with the year-ago period.

On a month-on-month basis, prices in July fell by 0.2 percent from those in June.

The three-month deflationary streak is the first since last year, when they dropped between September and November, though from a higher starting point.

The main culprit behind the falling prices is a drop in demand due to global coronavirus outbreak. Italy applied a national lockdown in March and then gradually eased in starting in May. During the lockdown, consumer prices remained steady, as lower demand was matched by lower levels of production. But with the lockdown lifted, ISTAT said, the supply of key consumer goods has recovered faster than demand for many goods.

Also at play are lower oil prices, which have an impact both on the cost of energy and transportation.

ISTAT said the only parts of the basket of goods it uses to calculate the inflation rate that saw some price stability in July was for some categories of food and personal care products.

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