Retail sales, there is a rebound but the Italians brake at the table and go to the discount: this is how much the increase in prices in the cart weighs

Retail sales, there is a rebound but the Italians brake at the table and go to the discount: this is how much the increase in prices in the cart weighs

The data on retail sales for July, released today by Istat, offer a snapshot of the new spending habits of Italians. With inflation and uncertainties about the future, families are putting fewer food items on the table and buying more at the discount store. According to the numbers, last month, sales in retail value were up 1.3% compared to the previous month and 4.2% year-on-year. We are facing “a technical rebound after the fall of June, but the Italians are always on a diet” says the National Consumers Union which continues: “Sales could only improve compared to the previous month, when they had plummeted on all fronts : economic, trend, food and non-food. On an annual basis, however, the knots come to a head. Skyrocketing prices forced Italians to cut back on food purchases. If food sales in value, in fact, due to inflation, rise by 6.1% compared to July 2021, purging them of the price effect, the mirage vanishes and falls by 3.6%, with an abysmal difference of 9.7 points percentages “. “In short, Italians tighten their belts on food, eating less,” says Massimiliano Dona, president of the National Consumers Union.

According to the study of the National Consumers Union, July food sales in volume, in the seasonally adjusted data, are lower both in comparison with those of February 2020, the last pre-lockdown month, with -3.3%, and compared to January 2020 , the last pre-pandemic month, with -0.6 per cent.

“The Istat data on retail sales in July show not only how Italians are putting less and less food on the table, but also the profound changes in the economic behavior of citizens imposed by the expensive bills and the abnormal price growth” also says Assoutenti, commenting the numbers on commerce released today by Istat. «The first fact that catches the eye is the significant reduction in food purchases, which compared to 2021 decrease in volume by -3.6%. This means that Italians, to cope with the current crisis, cut primary purchases such as food, a decidedly disheartening signal – explains the president Furio Truzzi – But above all the Istat numbers show how the habits of families have changed, increasingly on savings by diverting purchases to food discounters, whose sales in July increased by + 12.3% on an annual basis ». “The high prices are revolutionizing the choices of families, and the government must intervene with a serious strategy to defend the purchasing power of citizens and block the non-stop growth of retail price lists” concludes Truzzi.

The analysis of Codacons is also of the same tone: “The contraction in sales over 2021 is the demonstration of the crisis affecting Italian families – says the president Carlo Rienzi – For food, which represents primary consumption for citizens, there is a decline purchases of -3.6% in volume, offset by an almost double increase in sales in value (+ 6.1%). This is irrefutable proof of the effects of high prices, and of the paradox according to which Italians today spend more to buy less ». Against this situation, the Government must urgently intervene by ordering the VAT cut on primary goods such as food, so as to lead to an immediate reduction in retail price lists, determine economic benefits for families and support consumption ”concludes Rienzi.

Federconsumatori speaks of a negative scenario: «The data relating to retail sales in July are affected by the recent acceleration of inflation and record the positive effect of the summer period and the desire of families to find a new normality after two summers negatively affected by the pandemic. Analyzing the trend data, however, it emerges that the trend in sales volumes continues to register signs of a slowdown »comments Carlo Alberto Buttarelli, Director of Studies and Relations with the Federdistribuzione Sector.

The federation sees other black clouds on the horizon: “Today, the pressure of energy costs, more than tripled in a few weeks, jeopardizes the economic stability of companies which, without immediate intervention by the Government, could be forced to close numerous stores. Such a strong incidence of costs on the economic accounts of companies also risks further fueling the country’s inflationary spiral and weighing down the weight of the shopping cart by another 2 or 3 percentage points, compared to the + 9.7% already recorded in August. A dramatic scenario for internal consumption and for the level of confidence of families »explains Buttarelli.

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