Statistical price surveys have been performed in Italy since the time of Italian Unification. At the time, Italy had an economy based mainly on agriculture, and it is therefore no surprise that the first traces of price statistics are precisely for agricultural products. The price statistics on the purchase of retail goods by the population are also among the first signs of statistical interest in the subject, an interest which has been developed considerably over the course of the years, in Italy as in other European countries.

Consumer price statistics provide an indirect overview of the evolution of lifestyles and consumption in Italian society in the various historical periods. In the earliest years, the most detailed statistics covered food products; necessary to meet primary needs, these evoked great interest in a society which was generally less well off than it is today. Over the years, thanks to economic development, the range of goods and services purchased by the population has been modified, and with it the field of observation of the surveys which ISTAT has gradually updated to adapt them to the social and economic changes that have taken place in the Country...full text




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