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Press release 064 / 2013-02-20: Consumer prices in January 2013: +1.7% on January 2012

Rate of inflation going down

WIESBADEN – Consumer prices in Germany rose by 1.7% in January 2013 compared with January 2012, so the general rise in prices slowed down. In December 2012, the inflation rate as measured by the consumer price index amounted to +2.0%. A rate of price increase of +1.7% was last measured in June 2012. Compared with December 2012, the consumer price index fell by 0.5%. The Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) thus confirms its provisional result of 31 January 2013.

The inflation rate continued to be influenced mainly by higher food and energy prices in January 2013. These two areas accounted for more than half of the entire price increase on the previous year.

Food prices rose 4.5% in January 2013 compared with January 2012. Consumers had to pay much more for vegetables (+8.6%) and fruit (+7.9%) than one year earlier. Prices of meat and meat products (+6.4%) and fish and fish products (+5.1%) were also considerably higher than in January 2012, while less had to be paid for edible oils and fats (−3.5%). Energy prices went up 3.9% over the same period (of which household energy: +5.8%; motor fuels: +0.5%) and thus rose less markedly again than food prices. In the household energy category, electricity prices showed a notable increase (+12.1%) in a year-on-year comparison. There were marked price rises also with regard to charges for central and remote heating (+6.2%) and solid fuels (+3.7%). In contrast, heating oil prices fell 2.5% on January 2012. The development of energy prices had a stronger impact again on the inflation rate in January 2013 than in December 2012, which was mainly due to rising electricity prices: not considering the energy price development, the inflation rate in January 2013 would have been +1.3%.

Generally, legislative changes enter into force in the month of January which then have an impact on the overall price level. In January 2013, the fact that the quarterly standard medical consultation charge was abolished had a notable effect: the overall rise in prices was reduced by almost 0.2 percentage points in January 2013 for that reason alone.

Total service prices rose by 1.1% in January 2013 compared with January 2012. For instance, there were price increases with regard to package holidays (+5.4%), insurance services (+1.8%) and net rent exclusive of heating expenses (+1.2%). In contrast, prices decreases were recorded not only for health (−3.6%) as a consequence of the abolished medical consultation charge but also for financial services (−11.2%). The price development remained consumer-friendly also in the sphere of communication (−1.7%; including telecommunications services: −1.8%). 

Total goods prices were up 2.3% in January 2013 on January 2012. While the prices of non-durable consumer goods rose considerably (+3.3%), prices of durable consumer goods were down (−0.7%; including consumer electronics: −7.2%; information processing equipment: −6.0%). 

Change in January 2013 on December 2012
Compared with December 2012, the consumer price index fell by 0.5% in January 2013. The decline in prices on the preceding month was partly due to the abolished quarterly standard medical consultation charge mentioned above. There also were price drops typical of the season: package holiday prices (–17.7%) and prices of air tickets (–3.6%) were notably lower than in the vacation month of December. As shops started giving discounts on winter goods, the prices of clothing were also markedly down on the preceding month (–6.6%). 

Energy prices were up 2.3% in January 2013 on December 2012. This was mainly due to the increase in electricity prices which amounted to 9.9%. One year earlier, electricity prices had risen only 1.1% from December to January. Heating oil (–0.5%) and motor fuel (–0.3%; including diesel fuel: –1.0%) cost slightly less in January 2013 than one month earlier. 

Food prices also went up in comparison with December 2012 (+0.9%). There were seasonal price increases especially for vegetables (+2.9%; including tomatoes: +22.5%; potatoes: +2.1%), while the prices of edible oils and fats went down (–1.2%; including margarine: –4.3%). Prices of non-alcoholic beverages decreased 0.1%, with coffee prices being notably lower (−2.0%). 

Note: regular adaptation of the consumer price index for Germany
Every five years, the consumer price index is subject to a regular adaptation, which has now been completed. In the process, weighting patterns have been updated and methodological changes implemented. The results for the reporting month of January 2013 now refer to the new base year of 2010. The procedure also includes a recalculation of the consumer price index for Germany from January 2010. The following table compares the new and old rates of price increase for the years 2011 and 2012:

Consumer price index for Germany
Changes in % on the same period one year earlier 
Base yearAJan.Feb.MarApr.MayJuneJulyAug.Sep.Oct.Nov.Dec.
A = annual average
 2012
2010 (new)2.02.12.22.22.02.01.71.92.22.02.01.92.0
2005 (old)2.02.12.32.12.11.91.71.72.12.02.01.92.1
 2011
2010 (new)2.11.71.92.01.92.02.12.12.12.42.32.42.0
2005 (old)2.32.02.12.12.42.32.32.42.42.62.52.42.1

Information on the revision of the consumer price index is provided on the website of the Federal Statistical Office (www.destatis.de > Prices > Consumer prices).

Consumer price index for Germany in January 2013 

Overall index / product groups

________

Overall index / subindex

 

WeightingIndex
2010 = 100

Change on

the same

period a

year earlier

Change on

the preceding

month

in per millin per cent
Overall index1,000.00104.51.7–0.5
Food and non-alcoholic-beverages102.71109.14.00.7
Food90.52109.04.50.9
Meat20.76112.96.40.5
Fruit8.76115.27.91.9
Vegetables11.26103.98.62.9
Alcoholic beverages and tobacco37.59105.31.8–0.1
Clothing and footwear44.9399.00.8–5.8
Housing. water, electricity. gas and other fuels317.29107.12.41.1
Net rent exclusive of heating expenses209.93103.21.20.3
Household energy68.19120.65.83.7
Electricity26.21122.112.19.9
Gas14.46111.61.90.3
Heating oil11.11130.9–2.5–0.5
Furnishings, household equipment etc.49.78101.70.90.2
Health44.4498.7–3.6–4.9
Transport134.73107.11.10.0
Motor fuels38.37113.70.5–0.3
Supergrade petrol28.38111.90.60.0
Diesel fuel9.19118.2–0.4–1.0
Communication30.1093.8–1.70.0
Recreation and culture114.9299.21.6–4.7
Package holidays26.8398.05.4–17.7
Education8.8095.7–0.42.5
Restaurants and hotels44.67104.62.00.5
Miscellaneous goods and services70.04103.71.50.8
Overall index
Excluding heating oil and motor fuels950.52103.81.8–0.5
Excluding household energy931.81103.31.3–0.8
Excluding energy (household energy and motor fuels)893.44102.81.3–0.9
Goods479.77106.72.30.2
Non-durable consumer goods307.89110.83.31.2
Consumer goods with a medium-term life91.05101.01.0–3.0
Durable consumer goods80.8397.4–0.7–0.2
Services520.23102.41.1–1.2
Consumer price index for Germany 
Overall index
______


Year / Month
Index
2010 = 100
Change on
the same
period a
year earlier
Change on
the preceding
month
in per cent

 A = annual average

– = no figures or magnitude zero

2011 A102.12.1
2012 A104.12.0
2012January102.82.1–0.1
February103.52.20.7
March104.12.20.6
April103.92.0–0.2
May103.92.00.0
June103.71.7–0.2
July104.11.90.4
August104.52.20.4
September104.62.00.1
October104.62.00.0
November104.71.90.1
December105.02.00.3
2013January104.51.7–0.5

The harmonised index of consumer prices (HICP) for Germany, which is calculated for European purposes, rose by 1.9% in January 2013 on January 2012 and was thus again below the two-percent mark that is important in terms of monetary policy (this had last been the case in November 2012 at +1.9%). Compared with December 2012, the index fell by 0.7%. The HICP estimate of 31 January 2013 was thus confirmed.

Further information on consumer price statistics is provided by Fachserie 17, Reihe 7, which is available for download from the website of the Federal Statistical Office at www.destatis.de, path: Publikationen > Thematische Veröffentlichungen > Preise.

Detailed data and long time series on consumer price statistics can also be retrieved from the Genesis Online database through the Verbraucherpreisindex tables (61111-0004) and (61111-0006).

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© Statistisches Bundesamt, Wiesbaden 2014