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Purchasing power of Italian families dropped by 4% in 2012

Consumer group warns households face rising costs ahead

27 December, 16:26
Purchasing power of Italian families dropped by 4% in 2012 (ANSA) - Rome, December 27 - Italian families saw their purchasing power drop by 4% while prices rose in 2012, a consumer group warned Thursday.

And there is little chance of improvement in 2013, added Codacons, using data collected by the national statistical agency Istat.

"The economic situation is extremely bad," said the consumer group.

It blamed new and increasing taxes, higher retail prices and frozen salaries for a significant fall in their purchasing power in the year now ending.

For the average family, purchasing power fell by 4% or about 1,398 euros for a family of three, or 1,540 euros for four people.

"This is a real blow, worse than in 2009, the black year of the economic crisis," said Codacons president Carlo Rienzi.

All this suggests there is little hope for an economic recovery in 2013, he added.

Consumer groups also warned Thursday that Italian households will see their expenses rise by a whopping 1,500 euros each in 2013.

Hikes in train tickets, car insurance, household bills, bank and postal charges, waste-disposal levies and the new IMU property tax will be "unsustainable" for the countless households already struggling to make ends meet, said Adusbef and Federconsumatori.