Soaring energy prices push Italy’s inflation to 37-year high

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Soaring energy prices push Italy’s inflation to 37-year high
Fuel and energy prices have soared in Italy and Europe since Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Photo by MIGUEL MEDINA / AFP.

Italy's inflation rate reached 8.4 percent on Wednesday, its steepest increase in almost four decades, according to official figures.


The number comes from provisional data released by Italy's national statistics agency Istat, which said soaring energy prices - up by 44.9 percent in August - were driving the trend.

The last time the country experienced higher rates of inflation was in December 1985, when the figure peaked at 8.8 percent, according to news agency Ansa.

READ ALSO: Russia’s Gazprom cuts gas supply to Italy

Like much of the rest of Europe, Italy is grappling with a deep cost of living crisis brought about by the pandemic and exacerbated by Russia's war on Ukraine.


On Wednesday, Russia cut Italy's gas supply by 26 percent as it shut the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline, ostensibly for maintenance work.

Unlike its European neighbours who are facing similar problems, Italy is also reeling from a political crisis after its third government in four years collapsed in July, triggering snap elections scheduled for September.

Mario Draghi's outgoing government has approved a series of aid bills in the last few months to assist families struggling with high living costs.

Measures passed to date have included fuel tax discounts, assistance with energy bills, and tax cuts for people earning less than €35,000 a year.

An additional aid package designed to further offset soaring energy costs was expected to be announced by Wednesday.


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