The cost of pasta spiked at double the inflation rate in April and March
The price of pasta in Italy has been soaring over the past two months, forcing the government to hold an emergency meeting this week to decide whether a price cap or other state intervention is necessary.
According to the Italian National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT), the retail price of pasta spiked 17.5% in March, and 16.5% in April compared to the same period last year, which was double the national inflation rate of 8.8%. This raised concerns over potential market speculation, as the spike coincided with a drop in the cost of wheat.
Following the emergency meeting, which was held on Thursday and included officials, producers, distributors, and consumer rights groups, a government commission headed by Industry Minister Adolfo Urso said that for now, it will refrain from intervening in the situation, as the commission believes the market will soon correct itself.
“The latest price surveys are already showing the first, albeit weak, signs of price decrease, a sign that the cost of pasta may fall significantly in the coming months,” the commission said in a statement published after the meeting, adding that the authorities are doing everything in their power to avoid market speculation and will continue to monitor the situation.
A spokesperson for Urso said on Wednesday that many producers and distributors had already provided assurances that the rising prices are temporary.
Italian consumers rights groups, however, were not pleased with the results of the meeting. According to local media, one of the groups, Codacons, sent a complaint to the Competition Authority and the Central Inspectorate of Quality Protection and Fraud Repression, demanding an investigation into potential illegalities that led to the rise in prices.
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Furio Truzzi, the head of another group, Assoutenti, threatened to boycott pasta, warning that he expects “a sharp drop in pasta prices soon, if not, consumers will leave it on the shelves. We won’t buy pasta for 15 days.”
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May 14, 2023 at 08:23PM