Italian inflation is rising to levels not seen since 1991

Italian inflation rose to 6.7 percent in March as the Russian invasion of Ukraine led to a surge in energy prices, the highest since July 1991.

Italy’s statistical agency Istat released the new inflation numbers this week, showing a 6.7 percent rise in inflation, led by a 6.9 percent rise in energy goods prices, which are up 52.9 percent from a year earlier.

Other items in Italy’s consumer price index (CPI) have also risen in price, with groceries, household goods and personal care products also up 5 percent in March, Italian newspaper Il Giornale reports.

Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Draghi, a former European Central Bank technocrat, has said his government will address rising commodity costs, adjust Italy’s budget if the inflation trend is temporary and make structural changes if the trend persists longer-term.

To help Italians with rising fuel costs, the government recently issued a decree to reduce the price of petrol by 25 eurocents a liter – similar to a move also taken by the Spanish government this week.

However, some have speculated that Italy may be forced to ration its gas supplies, as the country imports about half of its natural gas from Russia and natural gas accounts for about half of the country’s total energy needs.

As inflation rises, the Italian labor market saw the employment rate rise to a new record of 59.6 percent. More people are now employed in the country than before the start of the Wuhan virus pandemic.

Bankitalia Governor Ignazio Visco has warned that the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine could have serious economic repercussions, saying: “The Russian invasion of Ukraine is destined to leave deep social and economic scars,” adding added: “It could have serious implications for energy supply, inflation, domestic demand and international trade.”

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or by email to ctomlinson(at)

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