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Press release 134 / 2012-04-13: Consumer prices in March 2012: +2.1% on March 2011

Inflation slightly down despite record prices of motor fuels

WIESBADEN – In March 2012, consumer prices in Germany were up 2.1% on March 2011. The rise in prices slightly slowed down. In February 2012, the inflation rate as measured by the consumer price index had been 2.3%. Compared with February 2012, the consumer price index increased by 0.3% in March 2012. The Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) thus confirms its preliminary result of the consumer price index released on 28 March 2012. 

In March 2012, as in the previous months, the rate of inflation was determined by the development of energy prices (+6.7% on March 2011). The motor fuel price increase had a particularly strong impact on the inflation rate. Motor fuel prices rose 7.7% on a year earlier, reaching an all-time high. The year-on-year increase in household energy prices was less pronounced, though still marked (+6.0%). Not considering the energy price development, the inflation rate in March 2012 would have been +1.6%. 

Food prices increased markedly (+3.1%) compared with March 2011. Prices were up on a year earlier especially for meat (+5.6%; including lamb: +12.7%). Consumers had to pay markedly more also for fish (+4.6%), bread and cereals (+4.5%) and confectionery (+4.4%; including sugar: +21.4%). For some foods, prices decreased markedly on a year earlier (for example, potatoes: −24.6%; grapes: −22.1%; butter: −7.7%). 

As regards goods in general, prices rose above average by 3.2% on March 2011. Price increases were largest for non-durable consumer goods (+4.3%). Apart from energy products and food, prices rose markedly also, among other things, for non-alcoholic beverages (+4.1%; including coffee: +8.4%) and tobacco (+5.9%), the latter as a result of the tobacco tax rises taking effect in May 2011 and January 2012. The prices of consumer goods with a medium-term life were 2.3% above the level of a year earlier (for example, clothing: +3.7%). The prices of durable consumer goods remained unchanged over the same period. 

The year-on-year price rises for services were below average (+1.1%). The development of net rents remained moderate (+1.1%). However, there were marked price rises, too (for example, air tickets: +10.8%; package holidays: +3.8%). Price decreases on March 2011 were recorded for communication: −1.6%). 

Change in March 2012 on February 2012

Compared with February 2012, the consumer price index increased 0.3% in March 2012. In the month-on-month comparison, prices were up especially for motor fuels (+4.0%; including supergrade petrol: +4.1%; Diesel fuel: +3.4%). In contrast, prices of electricity (+0.4%) and gas (+0.1%) rose just slightly on February 2012. Heating oil prices even decreased slightly (–0.2%). Overall energy prices rose 1.6% on the previous month.

For seasonal reasons, consumers had to pay more than in the previous month, among other things, for clothing (+2.9%). Major factors here were the changeover from the winter to the spring collection and the end of seasonal sales. Seasonal price decreases were recorded, too, especially for package holidays (–2.9%) and accommodation services (–2.4%). 

Food prices rose just slightly on the previous month (+0.3%). Opposite price developments were observed here. Consumers had to pay more, for instance, for vegetables (+3.2%; including butterhead and iceberg salad: +18.8%), but less for fruit (–3.1%; including grapes: –15.6%). Also, butter prices were down again (–3.4% on February 2012). 

The harmonised index of consumer prices (HICP) for Germany, which is calculated for European purposes, rose 2.3% in March 2012 on March 2011. Compared with February 2012, the index was up 0.4%. The HICP estimate of 28 March 2012 has thus been confirmed. 

Further information on consumer price statistics is provided by Fachserie 17, Reihe 7, which is via the Publications. Detailed data and long time series on consumer price statistics can be retrieved from the Genesis Online (table “Verbraucherpreisindex” (61111-0004 and 61111-0006)) database.  

Consumer price index for Germany 
Overall index / product groups

Overall index / subindex
2005 = 100
Change on
the same
period a
year earlier
Change on
the preceding
in per millin per cent
Overall index in March 20121,000.00112.62.10.3
Food and non-alcoholic-beverages103.55119.13.30.3
Milk, cheese and eggs14.44118.73.20.5
Alcoholic beverages and tobacco38.99117.74.10.8
Clothing and footwear48.88109.53.32.7
Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels308.00115.72.40.2
Net rent exclusive of heating expenses203.30108.01.10.0
Household energy59.82143.86.00.3
Heating oil9.21169.28.6–0.2
Furnishings, household equipment and routine maintenance of the house55.87105.60.60.2
Motor fuels35.37139.47.74.0
Supergrade petrol19.29137.38.14.1
Diesel fuel8.15143.66.43.4
Recreation and culture115.68102.91.4–0.9
Package holidays25.93112.33.8–2.9
Restaurants and hotels43.99112.12.3–0.6
Miscellaneous goods and services74.47110.40.1 –0.2
Overall index 
Excluding heating oil and motorfuels955.42111.11.80.2
Excluding household energy940.18110.71.80.4
Excluding energy (household energy and motor fuels)904.81109.51.60.1
Goods, total493.00116.33.20.8
Non-durable consumer goods305.11124.84.30.7
Consumer goods with a medium-term life95.24107.52.31.4
Durable consumer goods92.6597.30.00.0


Consumer price index for Germany 
Overall index

Year / Month
2005 = 100
Change on
the same
period a
year earlier
Change on
the preceding
in per cent

A = annual average

– = no figures or magnitude zero

2009 A107.00.4
2010 A108.21.1
2011 A110.72.3

>>> Brief methodological description

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