Italian household consumption shows signs of recovery

(AGI) Rome, Dec 8 - Household consumption increased 0.3 percenttowards the end of the year, with purchases of durable goodsrising 2.9 percent, food 0.4 percent and services 0.5 percent.According to a report on market and prices released by theItalian Union of Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Crafts(Unioncamere), prices of olive oil, pasta and several tariffsrose sharply, but consumer price inflation will remain belowhalf a percentage point of growth in 2015, thought to be acrucial year for Italy's economy. The report points out thatthe effect of low inflation and diminishing fears for

(AGI) Rome, Dec 8 - Household consumption increased 0.3 percenttowards the end of the year, with purchases of durable goodsrising 2.9 percent, food 0.4 percent and services 0.5 percent.According to a report on market and prices released by theItalian Union of Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Crafts(Unioncamere), prices of olive oil, pasta and several tariffsrose sharply, but consumer price inflation will remain belowhalf a percentage point of growth in 2015, thought to be acrucial year for Italy's economy. The report points out thatthe effect of low inflation and diminishing fears for taxincreases may have pushed up sales of cars and appliances aftertwo slow years. According to the president of Unioncamere,Ferruccio Dardanello, it is a weak sign of recovery and notenough to allow Italy to gain back what it lost in severalyears of recession. Household consumption fell 0.7 percentagepoints in 2012 and 2013 together. The Italian economy saw afurther decline this summer and autumn, with GDP values belowzero. This trend could continue in 2015, the report continued,as growth forecasts have been revised downward. "We are on theeve of a crucial year for the future of our country: themeasures envisaged by the Budget Law, focusing on reducingtaxes and raising income support, aim to boost domestic demand.The postponement to 2017 of a structurally balanced budgetinaugurates a new era of fiscal policy in our country, aimed atexpanding the national economy. The next step is to verify theamount of resources that will be collected by the spendingreview and to continue the battle against tax evasion. Also, anegative impact of measures taken in 2015 on the next year mustbe avoided: failing to balance the budget next year wouldactivate the safeguard clause in 2016, with possibly anotherincrease in VAT rates. That in turn would cause recessionaryeffects from which it would be difficult to recover." (AGI).