Press Inflation rate of +0.9% in April 2020

Falling prices of mineral oil products again had a downward effect on the inflation rate

Press release No. 165 of 14 May 2020

Consumer price index, April 2020
+0.9% on the same month a year earlier (provisional result: +0.8%)
+0.4% on the previous month (provisional result: +0.3%)

Harmonised index of consumer prices, April 2020
+0.8% on the same month a year earlier (provisional result confirmed)
+0.4% on the previous month (provisional result confirmed)

WIESBADEN − The inflation rate in Germany, measured as the year-on-year change in the consumer price index, stood at +0.9% in April 2020. This means that the inflation rate was down again (March 2020: +1.4%; February 2020: +1.7%). The Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) also reports that consumer prices rose by 0.4% compared with March 2020. The provisional results of 29 April 2020 regarding the consumer price index are revised slightly upwards by the final results.


Below-average 0.3% increase in goods prices compared with the previous year

The prices of goods (total) increased by 0.3% between April 2019 and April 2020, which was below average. This was mainly due to a 5.8% decline in energy product prices. Heating oil prices declined most sharply due to the oil price slump in the world market observed since the beginning of the year which, among other things, was a result of the corona pandemic. In April 2020, the prices of heating oil decreased markedly by 23.7% year on year. Consumers also paid much less for motor fuels compared with the same month a year earlier (-15.4%). While the prices of mineral oil products recorded a decline, some other prices went up, for instance, electricity prices (+4.4%). Food prices also climbed substantially (+4.8%). The effects of the corona crisis were reflected especially by increasing fruit (+11.0%) and vegetable prices (+6.5%).

Inflation rate excluding heating oil and motor fuels at +1.6%

Above all the sharply decreasing prices of mineral oil products had a downward effect on the inflation rate in April 2020. Excluding heating oil and motor fuel prices, the inflation rate would have been much higher (+1.6%) in April 2020.

Above-average 1.3% increase in service prices compared with the previous year

The prices of services (total) increased above average in April 2020 on the same month a year earlier (+1.3%). A major factor contributing to the development of service prices was the increase in net rents exclusive of heating expenses (+1.4%), as households spend a large part of their consumption expenditure on this item. Higher price increases were observed, for example, for services of social facilities (+5.0%) and for the maintenance and repair of vehicles (+4.0%).

Considerable month-on-month rise in vegetable prices

Compared with March 2020, the overall consumer price index was up 0.4% in April 2020. The increasing food prices (+1.1%) are worth mentioning in this context. Compared with the previous month, consumers paid more especially for vegetables (+5.1%). However, the prices of energy products were down (-3.0%); above all motor fuels became less expensive (-8.3%).

Methodological note on data quality: The current corona crisis caused some price collection problems in April 2020. Some products were not available in the market and, in addition, some difficulties were encountered in shop-based price collection. The prices of goods and services which could not be collected or only be collected to a very limited extent were updated using various methods or - in the case of goods with stable prices - taken from the previous month. The quality of the overall results is again assured; quality reductions regarding partial results were marked in the relevant publications.

To ensure a Europe-wide uniform approach in this special situation, coordination with the statistical offices of the Länder and the Statistical Office of the European Union (Eurostat) was very close regarding the treatment, in methodological terms, of missing prices in CPI/HICP compilation. More information on the methods used and data quality in the current month is provided on the website of the Federal Statistical Office.

Consumer price index for Germany April 2020
Overall index / subindexWeightingIndex
2015 = 100
Change on
the same
period a
month earlier
Change on
the preceding
in per millin per cent

1: Results do not include charges.

( ) limited informational value because numerical value is of limited statistical reliability.

Overall index1,000.00106.10.90.4
Food and non-alcoholic-beverages96.85111.54.61.0
Meat and meat products18.60115.29.30.6
Alcoholic beverages and tobacco37.77113.32.51.4
Clothing and footwear45.34(104.4)(-0.9)(-0.9)
Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels324.70105.91.10.1
Net rent exclusive of heating expenses196.32106.81.40.1
Household energy68.82101.7-0.7-0.4
Gas 113.5397.21.80.0
Heating oil 17.0189.7-23.7-3.5
Furniture, lighting equipment, appliances and other household equipment50.04(103.9)(1.4)(0.6)
Motor fuels35.0189.8-15.4-8.3
Supergrade petrol25.6687.8-16.5-9.2
Diesel fuel8.6495.0-13.3-6.1
Recreation and culture113.36103.4-0.23.6
Package holidays26.62(98.7)(-3.4)(15.8)
Restaurant and accommodation services46.77(111.4)(2.4)(0.3)
Miscellaneous goods and services74.25107.62.20.3
Overall index 
Excluding food and energy811.30106.51.20.8
Excluding energy (household energy and motor fuels)896.17107.01.50.8
Excluding heating oil and motor fuels957.98106.81.60.8
Non-durable consumer goods297.54106.00.2-0.4

More information on consumer price statistics is provided by Fachserie 17, Reihe 7.

Detailed data and long time series of consumer price statistics can also be found in the Genesis Online database in tables 61111-0004 and 61111-0006 (consumer price index) as well as in tables 61121-0002 and 61121-0004 (harmonised consumer price index).

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