Retail sales in Italy were down in July for the fourth month running.
The continued fall in spending by Italian shoppers highlighting the effect of austerity measures and unemployment as the country’s year-long recession deepens.
Sales fell 3.2 percent compared to July last year.
One elderly female shopper in Rome complained: “Everything has got really bad! It’s a mess! It’s impossible to live like this! We have to jump through hoops just to survive every day.”
In July, food sales fell two percent from a year earlier while non-food sales dropped 3.8 percent.
The trade group that represents Italian retailers is predicting that this year will see the biggest decline in consumer spending since World War Two.
And an indication of how bad things are Italians are even drinking less coffee with imports at their lowest in six years.