A report published on Monday by the Italian National Consumer Union (UNC) has found that the efforts by the Italian government to stem the rapidly rising food prices in the nation have proven largely ineffective through the fourth quarter.

The report found that in November, the sharpest price increase was found in fresh fruit, which rose 4.4% month over month. It was followed by olive oil, which surged by 3%, while butter and pastries increased by over 2% on a monthly basis.

UNC President Massimiliano Dona said, “The data points to a failure of the anti-inflationary quarter. There were virtually no discounts on fresh fruit due to extremely volatile and unstable prices. Noteworthy is the fact that baby food ranked third, having risen in price by 2.9% over the month, and by 12.8% compared to November 2022, even as products for children were specifically mentioned in the [government] protocol.”

In another report, the consumer union Altroconsumo previously found that there was a decline in the living standards of Italian families, as food prices at local supermarkets were becoming more expensive by the week. The organization noted that consumers were responding by either trading down to cheaper items, or eliminating certain items from their shopping lists entirely.

Dona added, “It is a shame that pasta, the symbol of Italian cuisine, continues to rise in price, despite already astronomical prices.”

The General Confederation of Italian Industry (Confindustria), had found earlier this year that household spending on groceries was down 3.7% for 2022, and 8.7% over the fourth quarter of 2022, compared to the first quarter of 2021.

Dona called the report “alarming,” noting, “Italians are on a forced diet due to skyrocketing inflation.”

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