While the Italians enjoy their summer holidays, ISTAT, the Italian national institute for statistics, has released figures which show that inflation rose in Italy by 2.1 per cent in July and the rise cannot all be blamed on the increase in the price of oil.

Prices have risen in various sectors in the past year, and consumer associations are protesting that many of the increases are unjustified. Bank charges have risen by nine per cent, insurance policies by more than two per cent, tobacco by nine per cent, clothing by almost two per cent and airline tickets by 35 per cent. The only thing that is less expensive than a year ago is a mobile phone, the cost of which has fallen by 21 per cent.