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Press release 018 / 2013-01-15: Consumer prices in 2012: +2.0% on 2011

Inflation rate increases again in December 2012

WIESBADEN – Consumer prices in Germany rose by 2.0% on an annual average in 2012 compared with 2011. The Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) reports that the year-on-year rate of price increase thus was lower than in the previous year (2011: +2.3%). Both in 2010 and 2009, the annual price rise had been clearly below two percent (2010: +1.1%; 2009: +0.4%). In December 2012, the inflation rate as measured by the consumer price index amounted to 2.1%. Thus it was slightly higher than in November (+1.9%).

The year-on-year rate of price increase in 2012 was largely influenced by the above-average price rises recorded for energy products. However, their impact was somewhat weaker as compared with 2011. The price of energy altogether rose by 5.7% in 2012 (of which motor fuels: +5.7%; household energy: +5.6%). As regards household energy, price increases were observed above all for central and remote heating (+9.4%) and for heating oil (+8.9%). Compared with 2011, consumers also had to pay more for gas (+5.5%) and electricity (+2.8%) in 2012. Not considering energy prices, the year-on-year rate of price increase was 1.6%.

Above-average price increases on 2011 were also recorded for food and non-alcoholic beverages (+3.2%; of which food: +3.2%; non-alcoholic beverages: +2.9%). Compared with the previous year, the impact on the year-on-year rate of price increase became stronger. In 2012, considerably higher prices were recorded for many kinds of food such as meat (+5.4%), fish (+4.9%), fruit (+4.4%) and confectionery (+4.0%). The prices of coffee, tea and cocoa increased, too (+3.9%). However, the prices of edible oils and fats were down (−2.7%; including butter: −13.1%) in 2012 on 2011. 

As regards goods in general, prices increased markedly by 2.9% in 2012 on 2011. Above-average price increases were observed for non-durable consumer goods (+3.7%; including tobacco products: +4.1%; newspapers and periodicals: +3.9%). The prices of semi-durable consumer goods rose by 2.2% (including clothing: +2.9%). The prices of durable consumer goods remained nearly unchanged in a year-on-year comparison (+0.2%). 

Prices of services in general showed a below-average development in 2012 (+1.1%; including net rent exclusive of heating expenses: +1.2%; communication: −1.3%). However, marked price increases were recorded for several services, among others, transport services (+4.0%; air tickets: +7.6%; rail tickets: +3.8%), package holidays (+4.4%) and parts of health care (for instance services of dentists: +4.4%). Noteworthy is the considerable price decline in education (−12.3%), in particular due to the abolished tuition fees in some of the Länder. In addition, an above-average price decline was recorded for financial services (−15.7%) as a result of the abolishment of handling fees for personal loans by many banks.

Change in December 2012 on December 2011

Towards the end of the year, that is, in December 2012, the inflation rate was up again (+2.1%). Only in February 2012, a higher value (+2.3%) had been recorded in that year. In November 2012, the monthly rate of price increase was +1.9%. 

In a year-on-year comparison, above all food and energy had an upward effect on prices. Towards the end of the year, consumers had to pay considerably more for food (+4.8%). This was the strongest increase in food prices since September 2008 (+6.4%). In December 2012, vegetables (+12.0%) and fruit (+9.8%) were far more expensive than in December 2011. Also, consumers had to pay much more for meat and fish (+5.6% each) and for bread and cereals (+3.3%) compared with a year earlier. However, edible fats and oils (−3.6%; including butter: −7.3%) were less expensive in December 2012 compared with the same month of the previous year. 

The upward trend in energy prices continued to slow down in December 2012. The price of energy altogether was up 3.5% (of which household energy: +3.6%; motor fuels: +3.2%) on December 2011. This increase was less strong than that recorded for food. Towards the end of the year, energy prices thus had a much smaller effect on the inflation rate than in the preceding months. Not considering energy prices, the rate of price increase (+1.9%) in December 2012 was not more than 0.2 percentage points below the overall increase in prices. 

Compared with the same month a year earlier, clear increases in prices were recorded for instance for package holidays (+6.9%), clothing and footwear (+4.7%) and newspapers and periodicals (+4.2%) in December 2012. However, consumer electronics and information processing equipment (−4.2% and −3.5%, respectively) and telecommunications services (−1.6%) were for instance less expensive in December 2012 compared with a year earlier. 

Change in December 2012 on November 2012

Compared with the previous month, consumer prices rose markedly by 0.9% in December 2012. In particular, the seasonal increases in prices of package holidays (+22.8%) and accommodation services (+22.0%) should be noted. Due to the annual changes in fares, rail fares also increased markedly by 3.1% towards the end of 2012 (of which long-distance rail transport: +3.1%; short-distance rail transport: +2.5%). Food prices again recorded a prominent increase in December 2012 (+1.2% on November 2012). Especially, and partly due to seasonal factors, higher prices were recorded for vegetables (+4.7%) and fruit (+2.8%). In December 2012, the prices of clothing and footwear increased, too (+0.9% on November 2012). However, a notable decline in prices was only observed for a small number of items towards the end of the year. The prices of heating oil fell significantly (−5.1%), and motor fuel was again slightly cheaper than in the previous month (−1.4%).  

Consumer price index for Germany 
Overall index / product groups

Overall index / subindex
Weighting2012 ADecember 2012
Change on 2011 AChange on
the same
period a
year earlier
Change on
the preceding
in per millin per cent
Overall index 20121,
Food and non-alcoholicbeverages103.553.24.41.0
Alcoholic beverages and tobacco38.992.92.30.0
Clothing and footwear48.882.74.70.9
Housing. water. electricity. gas and other fuels308.002.31.7–0.2
Net rent exclusive of heating expenses203.301.21.10.1
Household energy59.825.63.6–0.8
Heating oil9.218.91.8–5.1
Furnishings. household equipment and routine maintenance of the house55.871.01.00.0
Motor fuels35.375.73.2–1.4
Supergrade petrol19.295.83.6–1.1
Diesel fuel8.155.02.2–2.3
Recreation and culture115.681.92.95.5
Package holidays25.934.46.922.8
Restaurants and hotels43.992.22.15.6
Miscellaneous goods and services74.470.0–0.20.1
Overall index 
Excluding heating oil and motor fuels955.421.72.01.1
Excluding household energy940.
Excluding energy (household energy and motor fuels)904.811.61.91.2
Goods. total493.
Non-durable consumer goods305.113.73.3 0.0
Consumer goods with a medium-term life95.
Durable consumer goods92.650.20.30.0
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
– = no figures or magnitude zero
2010 annual average108.21.1
2011 annual average110.72.3
2012 annual average112.92.0

The harmonised index of consumer prices (HICP) for Germany, which is calculated for European purposes, rose by 2.1% in 2012 in an annual comparison with 2011. In December 2012, the HICP was up 2.0% on December 2011. Compared with November 2012, the index increased markedly by 0.9%.

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

>>> Brief methodological description  

Please note: 

Every five years, the consumer price index is subject to a regular adaptation. From reference month January 2013, it will be rebased from the present base 2005 to base year 2010. This includes a recalculation of results from January 2010.

Please note the following publication dates: 

31 January 2013Estimate for January 2013
20 February 2013Final result January 2013 with new base 2010
Recalculated results from January 2010

Further information and details of this regular adaptation of the consumer price index will be published successively on the website of the Federal Statistical Office ( > Prices > Consumer prices).

For further information:
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