ROME, Jan. 23 (Xinhua) -- Record prices in Italy are eroding the standard of living in the country, according to data from the consumer advocacy group Codacons and ISTAT, the government's statistics entity.
Prices in Italy were a record 11.6 percent higher at the end of last year than a year earlier, and for 2022 as a whole prices were an average of 8.1 percent higher, ISTAT said. Meanwhile, wages failed to keep up with the inflation rate, resulting in a lower average standard of living.
According to Codacons, that increase cost the average Italian family of four 3,000 euros (3,250 U.S. dollars) extra last year. This hit poorer families harder, since such families spend a larger percentage of their income on day-to-day needs.
Codacons said the main factor behind eroded income levels was energy prices, which began surging in March 2022 due to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
Energy prices were 63.3 percent higher at the end of last year than at the end of 2021, ISTAT data showed. However, Codacons' data showed an even greater increase in home energy bills, which it said rose by 110.4 percent over the course of 2022.
"The monster price hikes did not spare any part of daily life," Codacons added.