Consumer prices provisionally rose 0.2 percent on the month at the start of the year. This put the annual inflation rate at 0.8 percent, a 0.1 percentage point decline from its final December outturn and its lowest mark since December 2016.
The flash HICP is seasonally very weak in January and a 1.6 percent monthly fall still saw its yearly rate edge a tick higher to 1.1 percent.
The dip in annual CPI inflation was mainly due to slower rates in unprocessed food (0.1 percent from 2.4 percent), unregulated energy (2.5 percent from 4.4 percent) and transport (1.4 percent from 2.8 percent). This combined effect was almost offset by faster rates in processed food (2.3 percent from 0.8 percent) and regulated Energy (5.2 percent from 3.7 percent). As a result, the yearly core rate, which excludes energy and fresh food was 0.6 percent, up from 0.4 percent in December but still indicative of an essentially flat underlying trend.
The provisional January CPI report leaves intact a worryingly soft picture of Italian inflation.