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Press release 017 / 2014-01-16: Consumer prices in 2013: +1.5% on 2012

Inflation rate slightly up in December 2013

WIESBADEN – Consumer prices in Germany rose by 1.5% on an annual average in 2013 compared with 2012.The Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) reports that the year-on-year rate of price increase thus was markedly lower than in the previous two years (2012: +2.0%; 2011: +2.1%).  A lower annual average rate of price increase was last observed in 2010 (+1.1% on 2009). Towards the end of 2013, the inflation rate increased slightly. In December, the inflation rate as measured by the consumer price index amounted to +1.4% (November 2013: +1.3%). In all months and in the whole year of 2013, inflation rates of under 2% were calculated. 

In 2013, an upward effect on prices was produced especially by food. Compared with the previous year, the impact on the overall inflation rate became stronger again. The price of food as a whole rose considerably by 4.4% in 2013 compared with 2012. Price increases were observed in 2013 in all food groups. They were particularly noticeable for vegetables (+6.1%; including potatoes: +28.7%), fruit (+7.2%; including apples: +14.9%) and edible fats and oils (+8.3%; including butter: +16.1%). 

The price of energy as a whole rose by 1.4% in 2013 compared with 2012. In the previous years of 2012 to 2010, markedly higher year-on-year rates of price increase were determined, which means that the influence of energy on the overall inflation rate has decreased. Not considering energy prices, the year-on-year rate of price increase in 2013 was 1.6%. There were different price developments for the individual energy products in 2013. The increase in electricity prices (+11.9%), which was caused especially by the increase in the surcharge according to the Renewable Energies Act, was contrasted by falling prices of heating oil (–6.0%) and motor fuels (–3.4%). 

The price increase for goods as a whole in 2013 compared with 2012 (+1.7%) was somewhat larger than for services (+1.4%). Among goods, prices were up especially for non-durable consumer goods (+2.3%). Apart from food and some energy products, prices rose markedly for newspapers and periodicals (+4.4%) and tobacco products (+2.9%). Prices in 2013 decreased from 2012, for example, for coffee, cocoa and tea (–3.3%), consumer electronics (–5.9%) and information processing equipment (–7.8%). The main reason for the development of service prices was the increase in net rents exclusive of heating expenses (+1.3%) as this item accounts for a large proportion of household expenditure. A substantial price increase was observed in 2013 for games of chance (+14.3%), which was due to the price rise for lottery tickets. Prices decreased for telecommunications services (–1.6%) and financial services (–9.7%). Prices were considerably down also for out-patient health services (–12.2%) because the standard medical consultation charge was abolished. 

Change in December 2013 on December 2012

In December 2013, the inflation rate was 1.4%, which was slightly higher than in the previous two months (November 2013: +1.3%; October 2013: +1.2%). 

Prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages in December 2013 rose above average again (+3.2%) from the same month a year earlier (including food: +3.8%). Prices were considerably up for edible fats and oils (+11.2%; including butter: +22.0%) and for dairy products and eggs (+9.1%; including curd: +17.7%; UHT milk: +14.0%; eggs: +7.2%). Consumers had to pay markedly more than a year earlier also for vegetables (+5.0%) and fruit (+4.2%). Prices were down on the same month of the previous year especially for coffee, tea and cocoa (–4.8%; including unground coffee: –7.2%). 

For energy products, a slight upward price trend on December 2012 emerged towards the end of the year. The price of energy as a whole rose by 1.1% compared with December 2012. However, different price developments were observed for the individual energy products (for example, electricity: +11.3%; but heating oil: –5.5%; motor fuels: –2.7%). Energy prices as a whole thus had only a small effect on the inflation rate in December 2013. Not considering the development of energy prices, the rate of price increase in December 2013 (+1.5%) was just slightly higher than the overall inflation rate. 

Noticeable year-on-year developments in December 2013 were those for games of chance (+21.3%) and out-patient health services (–12.3%). In addition, there were marked price rises on December 2012, among other things, for newspapers and periodicals (+4.7%), tobacco products (+4.5%) and hairdresser services (+4.2%). Prices in December 2013 decreased from December 2012, for example, for consumer electronics (–5.1%) and information processing equipment (–7.9%). 

Change in December 2013 on November 2013

Compared with the previous month, consumer prices were 0.4% higher in December 2013. The seasonal price increases for package holidays (+11.1%) should be mentioned in particular. Due to the annual changes in fares, rail fares were up towards the end of 2013 (+2.4%; of which long-distance rail transport: +2.3%; short-distance rail transport: +2.4%). Price increases were recorded in December 2013 also for food (+1.5% on November 2013; including vegetables: +10.0%; fruit: +2.0%) and energy (+0.3%), the latter being due mainly to higher motor fuel prices (+1.1%). However, there were few price decreases worth mentioning at the end of the year. A favourable development for consumers was the price decreases for clothing and footwear, which in some cases were considerable. The prices for the whole product group were down 2.4% on November 2013.  

Consumer price index for Germany

Overall index / subindex


2013 ADecember 2013
Change on
2012 A
Change on
the same
period a
year earlier
Change on
the preceding
in per millin per cent
Overall index 20131, 0.4
Food and non-alcoholic beverages102.713.93.21.3
Alcoholic beverages and tobacco37.592.13.30.2
Clothing and footwear44.931.1–0.3–2.4
Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels317.
Net rent exclusive of heating expenses209.931.31.60.1
Household energy68.
Heating oil11.11–6.0–5.50.2
Furnishings, household equipment and so on49.781.00.70.0
Motor fuels38.37–3.4–2.71.1
Supergrade petrol28.38–3.2–2.21.0
Diesel fuel9.19–4.1–3.51.1
Recreation and culture114.922.53.02.6
Package holidays26.832.51.911.1
Restaurants and hotels44.672.32.60.3
Miscellaneous goods and services70.041.71.8–0.1
Overall index 
Excluding heating oil and motor fuels950.521.81.70.4
Excluding household energy931.811.41.30.5
Excluding energy (household energy and motor fuels)893.441.61.50.5
Non-durable consumer goods307.892.32.20.5


Consumer price index for Germany 
Overall index

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

A = annual average

–= no figures or magnitude zero

2011 A102.12.1
2012 A104.12.0
2013 A105.71.5

The harmonised index of consumer prices (HICP) for Germany, which is calculated for European purposes, rose by 1.6% in 2013 in an annual comparison with 2012. In December 2013, the HICP was up 1.2% on December 2012 and thus, throughout the year, it was below the two-percent threshold, which is important for monetary policy. Compared with November 2013, the index rose by 0.5% in December 2013. 

The provisional overall results of 6 January 2014 for the consumer price index (CPI) and the harmonised index of consumer prices (HICP) were 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, 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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