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Press release 209 / 2018-06-14: Consumer prices in May 2018: expected rise of +2.2% on May 2017

Increasing energy prices accelerate inflationx

Consumer price indicesEnlarge picture
Consumer price index, May 2018

  • +2.2% on the same month a year earlier (provisional result confirmed)
  • +0.5% on the previous month (provisional result confirmed)

Harmonised index of consumer prices, May 2018

  • +2.2% on the same month a year earlier (provisional result confirmed)
  • +0.6% on the previous month (provisional result confirmed)

WIESBADEN – Consumer prices in Germany were 2.2% higher in May 2018 than in May 2017. The the inflation rate, as measured by the consumer price index, was markedly up on the preceding months An inflation rate of +2.2% was last recorded in February 2017. Compared with April 2018, the consumer price index rose by 0.5% in May 2018. The Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) thus confirms its provisional overall results of 30 May 2018.

The rise in the inflation rate in May 2018 was mainly due to energy prices. The year-on-year increase in energy prices (+5.1%) was markedly higher than in the previous month (April 2018: +1.3%). In particular, prices of heating oil (+24.3%) and motor fuels (+8.2%) were up in May 2018 on May 2017. Year-on-year price rises were also recorded for electricity (+1.5%) and charges for central and district heating (+0.5%), while prices of solid fuels (–1.5%) and gas (–1.1%) were down. Excluding energy prices, the inflation rate in May 2018 would have been +1.8%; excluding the prices of mineral oil products, it would have been +1.7%.

Food prices, too, rose above average (+3.5%) from May 2017 to May 2018. In April 2018, the rate of food price increase had been almost the same (+3.4%). Price increases in May 2018 compared with the same month a year earlier affected all food groups. Prices were up on a year earlier especially for edible fats and oils (+16.5%). Especially butter prices were considerably higher (+32.3%) than in May 2017. Consumers paid markedly more also for fruit (+8.1%) and all dairy products and eggs (+5.5%). Excluding food and energy prices, the inflation rate would have been +1.6% in May 2018.
The prices of goods (total) increased by 2.5% in May 2018 on a year earlier, which was mainly due to the rise in energy prices (+5.1%) and food prices (+3.5%). Significant year-on-year price increases were also recorded for other goods such as newspapers and periodicals (+4.6%), tobacco products (+4.4%) and gardening products and consumer goods (+3.7%). However, prices were down for some goods such as information processing equipment (–4.2%) and consumer electronics (–4.0%).

Prices of services (total) rose by 1.9% in May 2018 on a year earlier; this price increase was smaller than the one recorded for goods. A major factor contributing to the increase in service prices was the development of net rents exclusive of heating expenses (+1.6%), as households spend a large part of their consumption expenditure on this item. The rise in package holiday prices on a year earlier was much higher (+10.4%), the main reason being the early position of Whitsun in May 2018 (in 2017, Whitsun was in early June). Also, there were notable price increases for the maintenance and repair of vehicles (+3.2%) and catering services in restaurants, cafes and the like (+2.2%). Consumers enjoyed lower prices of air tickets (–2.3%), telecommunication services (–0.8%) and dental services (–0.3%), among other things.

Change in May 2018 on April 2018
Compared with April 2018, the consumer price index rose markedly by 0.5% in May 2018. Energy prices were up 2.2% on the previous month. Consumers paid more especially for heating oil (+7.6%) and motor fuels (+4.8%, including supergrade petrol: +4.8%, diesel fuel: +5.1%).

The month-on-month increase in food prices was relatively small (+0.2%) in May 2018. Marked price increases were observed for edible fats and oils (+3.2%); especially butter prices were up again (+6.0% on April 2018). Also, prices were up on a month earlier for vegetables (+1.9%), fruit (+0.7%) and meat and meat products (+0.5%). The prices of dairy products (–2.2%) and confectionery (–0.3%) decreased over the same period. 

Consumer price index for Germany
Overall index

Year / Month
2010 = 100
Change on
the same
period a
year earlier
Change on
the previous
in per cent
A = annual average
–= no figures or magnitude zero
2016 A107.40.5
2017 A109.31.8
Consumer price index for Germany in May 2018
Overall index / subindexWeightingIndex
2010 = 100
Change on
the same
period a
year earlier
Change on
the preceding
in per millin per cent
a Due to the changeover to other destinations, the rate of change on the previous month in reference month May cannot be interpreted as a pure price movement.
Overall index 1 000,00111.22.20.5
Food and non-alcoholic beverages102.71119.63.40.2
Alcoholic beverages and tobacco37.59122.73.3–0.1
Clothing and footwear44.93110.8–0.2–0.7
Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels317.29111.51.90.4
Net rent exclusive of heating expenses209.93111.31.60.1
Household energy68.19113.03.61.2
Heating oil11.11104.524.37.6
Furnishings, household equipment and so on49.78105.01.00.1
Motor fuels38.37103.18.24.8
Supergrade petrol28.38103.07.14.8
Diesel fuel9.19104.311.95.1
Recreation and culture114.92108.23.12.1
Package holidays26.83106.510.48.5a
Restaurants and hotels44.67117.82.20.3
Miscellaneous goods and services70.04110.40.80.0
Overall index 
Excluding food and energy802.92110.41.60.3
Excluding energy (household energy and motor fuels)893.44111.41.80.3
Excluding heating oil and motor fuels950.52111.61.70.3
Non-durable consumer goods307.89115.23.60.8

Harmonised index of consumer prices for Germany

Harmonised consumer price index, change on the previous yearEnlarge picture The harmonised index of consumer prices (HICP) for Germany, which is calculated for European purposes, rose 2.2% in May 2018 on May 2017. Thus the index exceeded the two-percent threshold, which is important for the monetary policy of the European Central Bank (last time in February 2017: +2.2%). Compared with April 2018, the HICP rose markedly by 0.6% in May 2018. This confirmed the HICP estimates of 30 May 2018.

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

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).

For further information:

Consumer price statistics
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