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Major EU economy hit with surging energy costs

The price of imported energy in Italy rose in March by 72.5% on a yearly basis, the National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT) reported on Tuesday. Data showed that the increase in energy prices accelerated by 5.6% compared to February.

Italy, which relies heavily on Russia for its energy needs, has seen its growth outlook deteriorate sharply since the introduction of Western sanctions against Moscow.

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The economy contracted by 0.2% in the first quarter from the previous three months. The government expects much lower growth this year amid rising inflation and supply bottlenecks.

Earlier this month, the country unveiled a hefty package of measures aimed at shielding firms and families from surging energy costs. It also includes measures aimed at overcoming Italy’s reliance on Russian gas by mid-2024 and extending the life of four coal fired power plants for up to two years and accelerating the roll-out of renewable power sources.

ISTAT data also showed that Italian exports to Russia decreased by 50.9% compared to March 2021.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

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