Press Inflation rate of -0.3% in November 2020

Negative inflation rate for the fourth time in 2020

Press release No. 496 of 11 December 2020

Consumer price index, November 2020
-0.3% on the same month a year earlier (provisional result confirmed)
-0.8% on the previous month (provisional result confirmed)

Harmonised index of consumer prices, November 2020
-0.7% on the same month a year earlier (provisional result confirmed)
-1.0% 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 -0.3% in November 2020. This was the fourth time this year that the inflation rate was negative. The price decrease even accelerated slightly (October: -0.2%). The last time an inflation rate as low as this was observed was in January 2015. The Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) also reports that consumer prices decreased markedly by 0.8% compared with October 2020.


Value added tax cut effective from 1 July 2020 continues to dampen prices

One of the reasons for the negative inflation rate was again the temporary value added tax reduction, which was implemented on 1 July 2020 as a measure of the Federal Government's stimulus package. Since then, it has had a downward effect on the consumer prices compared with a year earlier.

Prices of goods down 1.8% year on year due to low energy prices

The prices of goods (total) fell 1.8% from November 2019 to November 2020. This was mainly due to price decreases for energy products (-7.7%). The decrease in energy prices thus accelerated (October 2020: -6.8%). In a year-on-year comparison, prices fell especially for heating oil (-35.1%) and motor fuels (-13.1%). Food prices, however, rose by 1.4% on the same month of the previous year. Higher prices were recorded in particular for meat and meat products (+3.9%) and fruit (+3.7%), while the prices of edible fats and oils declined (-3.8%). Markedly lower prices were also recorded for some consumer durables such as telephones (-6.7%) and consumer electronics (-4.5%).
Inflation rate excluding energy products: +0.6%

The marked year-on-year decrease in energy product prices had a downward effect on the inflation rate. Excluding energy product prices, the inflation rate would have been +0.6% in November 2020.

Service prices up 1.1% year on year

The prices of services (total) were up 1.1% in November 2020 on the same month of the previous year. A major factor contributing to this price development 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. Some prices of services of minor importance went up even further. For example, price increases were recorded for service charges for games of chance (+13.7%), bank charges (+6.7%) and home care services (+6.5%). The prices of long-distance transport tickets were markedly down (-17.5%), the main reason being the reduction of value-added tax on long-distance rail tickets from 19% to 7% that took effect at the beginning of the year.
Motor fuel prices down on the previous month

Compared with October 2020, the overall consumer price index fell markedly by 0.8% in November 2020. Consumers paid less especially for motor fuels (-2.8%, including supergrade petrol: -3.7%). Prices of energy products (total) fell by 1.0%. Food prices, however, rose 0.5% in November 2020. Seasonal month-on-month price increases were recorded especially for vegetables (+3.0%).

Inflation rate of -0.3% expected for euro area

In November 2020, the harmonised index of consumer prices for Germany (HICP), which is calculated for international comparisons, was 0.7% below the level of November 2019. The difference when compared with the consumer price index is due to different coverage; for example, the current price increase for games of chance does not affect the HICP, which increases the usual difference. According to the Eurostat early estimate of 1 December 2020, the inflation rate in the euro area was -0.3%. The HICP will next be released on 18 November 2020 ( For HICP results of all European countries please go to the Eurostat pages.

Methodological note:

Since July 2020, the inflation rate has been affected by the reduction in value added tax being passed on to consumers. This may have an effect on the total year-on-year price change and it may have different effects on the individual product groups, see press release no. 215 of 15 June 2020 and no. 305 of 13 August 2020. Consumer price statistics have been faced also with particular challenges due to the temporary reduction in value added tax rates, and especially owing to the different handling of this reduction in the individual shops. When interpreting the results for November 2020, it should be noted that those effects are no longer reflected in the month-on-month comparison.

As restrictions to contain the corona pandemic have again been introduced on 2 November 2020, an increasing number of prices cannot be collected on a monthly basis. Where quality reductions for specific product groups were observed, the relevant results have been marked accordingly. More information about the methods used during the corona crisis and the impact on price collection is provided in our methodological paper.

Crisis Monitor enables comparison between corona crisis and financial/economic crisis

The consumer price index also forms part of the "Crisis Monitor" by means of which the Federal Statistical Office compares the development of major short-term indicators in the corona crisis and the financial and economic crisis of 2008/2009. The Crisis Monitor complements the Corona statistics webpage, which has provided statistical information on the economic and social consequences of the corona pandemic since early April.

German EU Council Presidency

As of 1 July, the Federal Statistical Office will organise the meetings of the Council Working Party on Statistics to be held during Germany’s EU Council Presidency under the chairmanship of its President Dr. Georg Thiel. Information on our activities during the Presidency of the Council of the EU is provided at

Consumer price index for Germany November 2020
Overall index / subindexWeightingIndex
2015 = 100
Change on
the same month
of the
previous year
Change on
the preceding
in per millin per cent

1: Results do not include charges.

( ) Limited informational value due to somewhat limited statistical reliability as imputation rates are high (over 50%).

Overall index1,000.00105.0-0.3-0.8
Food and non-alcoholic-beverages96.85108.91.20.4
Meat and meat products18.60113.93.90.1
Alcoholic beverages and tobacco37.77113.71.7-0.7
Clothing and footwear45.34104.4 -2.2-0.3
Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels324.70105.40.00.1
Net rent exclusive of heating expenses196.32107.61.40.1
Household energy68.8297.6-5.0-0.1
Gas 113.5394.8-1.9-0.3
Heating oil 17.0173.1-35.11.5
Furniture, lighting equipment, appliances and other household equipment50.04102.0-1.2-0.2
Motor fuels35.0189.9-13.1-2.8
Supergrade petrol25.6689.4-12.3-3.7
Diesel fuel8.6491.2-15.9-0.2
Recreation and culture113.36100.00.8-6.5
Package holidays26.62(80.1)(-4.4)(-26.8)
Restaurant and accommodation services46.77(111.9)(1.6)(-0.3)
Miscellaneous goods and services74.25108.11.10.0
Overall index 
Excluding food and energy811.30105.80.5-0.9
Excluding energy (household energy and motor fuels)896.17106.20.6-0.7
Excluding heating oil and motor fuels957.98105.80.5-0.8
Non-durable consumer goods297.54104.0-2.0-0.3

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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