Italians can spend less and less. The Altroconsumo thermometer records a significant general deterioration for consumers in supporting the expenses of the 6 different areas analysed: dwellingmobility, health, nutrition, education, culture and leisure. The Italian index this year is 45.2, the lowest ever since the survey was carried out, since 2018.
In 2022, there was a considerable increase in the number of families having difficulty in supporting the expenses related to food and housing. 37% of households had problems purchasing food (+13 percentage points compared to 2021) and for 49% it was difficult to cover expenses related to housing (+9 points). The percentages of families in difficulty for the other spending areas are stable or slightly increasing: 43% for health, 40% for mobility, 37% for culture and free time and 26% for education.
Families in serious economic difficulty are increasing, with problems for all 6 spending dimensions, which in 2022 are equal to 9%, almost double compared to 2021 (5%). The strong difference remains between the North and the South of the country. Difficulties in supporting expenses are greater in the South and in the islands and in the Center than in the Northeast and Northwest. The index value is significantly higher than the average for Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Veneto, Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna and Piedmont. Those in which the capacity to support them is below average are Campania, Puglia, Umbria and Abruzzo. Families living in cities have less difficulty than those living in the countryside and the situation is more complicated for large ones.
“Standing wages, the shock of energy prices and high inflation have put Italian families in great pain in 2022 even in essential areas, such as housing, health and food expenditure”, he explains Federico Cavallo, Head of External Relations Altroconsumo. «The Thermometer unfortunately confirms the very strong impact of inflation and the energy crisis on the levels of consumption of Italian families. The emergency responses of economic policy have made it possible to mitigate the consequences of the high cost of living on the most fragile social groups, but the problem is becoming structural and requires adequate interventions, in particular to defend fixed incomes. Wages and wages grow too little and three million employees are classified as working poor,” he added Antonio MisianiVice-President of the Senate Permanent Budget Commission.
The perception for 2023?
The Italians predict a further worsening of the situation. Almost half of the respondents, 45%, believe that their family will have more difficulties in meeting the expenses in 2023 than in 2022. Only 14% expect it will be easier. As far as savings are concerned, 76% believe that it will be difficult for their family to put money aside during 2023 and as many as 45% imagine that it will be very difficult if not impossible to do so.
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Source: Vanity Fair
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