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Italian July Inflation Rate Rises to 3.7% on Higher Energy Costs

July 31 (Bloomberg) -- Italy’s inflation rate rose to 3.7 percent in July on higher energy prices.

The inflation rate based on European Union measurements rose to 3.7 percent from 3.6 percent in June, Rome-based national statistics office Istat said in a preliminary report today. That was more than the median forecast of 3.6 percent by 12 economists in a Bloomberg News survey. Prices dropped 1.6 percent from June, Istat said.

Gasoline prices rose 12.6 percent from a year earlier, Istat said today.

Based on Italian methodology, prices remained unchanged in July from the previous month and gained 3 percent from a year earlier, Istat said today.

The European Central Bank on July 5 cut interest rates to a record low to stimulate growth and lending, and President Mario Draghi said euro-area inflation may drop below the bank’s 2 percent limit by the end of the year. ECB policy makers meet again Aug. 2. The euro-region inflation rate held at 2.4 percent in July, according to a preliminary estimate released today by Eurostat, the euro-area statistics office.

To contact the reporter on this story: Chiara Vasarri in Rome at cvasarri@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jerrold Colten at jcolten@bloomberg.net

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