Consumer prices in 2016: +0,5% on the previous year

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MIL OSI – Source: Destatis Statistisches Bundesamt – In English –

Headline: Consumer prices in 2016: +0,5% on the previous year

Energy prices caused inflation rate to jump to +1.7% in December 2016
WIESBADEN – Following low inflation rates – as measured by the consumer price index – in the first half of the year, the rate of price increase rose towards the end of 2016, reaching its highest level of the year in December 2016 (+1.7%). The Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) also reports that a higher inflation rate was last recorded in July 2013 (+1.9%). On an annual average in 2016, the consumer prices in Germany rose 0.5% on 2015. The year-on-year rate of price increase thus was slightly above previous year’s level (2015: +0.3%). 

The low 2016 inflation rate was largely due to the development of energy product prices. On the whole, prices of energy products fell markedly by 5.4% in 2016 on 2015. The downward effect on prices, however, was smaller than in the previous year (2015: –7.0% on 2014). Price decreases were recorded in 2016 especially for mineral oil products (–9.3%, of which heating oil: –16.9%; motor fuels: –7.3%) and charges for central and district heating (–8.5%). For gas, too, price decreases were observed on an annual average (–3.0%). Only electricity prices rose in 2016 (+0.6% on 2015). Excluding energy prices, the inflation rate in 2016 would have been markedly higher (+1.2%). 

Food prices (total) increased 0.8% in 2016 year on year. Unlike energy prices, they had an upward effect on prices as a whole on an annual average. However, there were some clearly opposite developments: Prices were up especially for vegetables (+3.7%), fruit (+3.6%) and fish and fish products (+3.3%). In contrast, consumers paid markedly less for dairy products (–4.4%). 

The prices of goods (total) fell by 0.4% in 2016 compared with 2015, the main reason being the decrease in energy prices (–5.4%). However, some goods became more expensive, besides food, for example, tobacco products (+3.6%) as well as newspapers, books and stationery (+3.0%). Contrary to goods, the prices of services (total) increased in 2016 compared with 2015 (+1.3%, including net rents exclusive of heating expenses: +1.2%). Marked price increases were observed here, among other things, for services of social facilities (+4.0%), insurance services (+2.4%) and catering services (+2.2%). As in the previous years, lower prices were however recorded for telecommunications services (–1.5%). In 2016, there were price decreases worth mentioning also for package holidays (–0.8% on 2015).

Change in December 2016 on December 2015Compared with December 2015, consumer prices as a whole increased sharply by 1.7% in December 2016. From January to November 2016, the inflation rates had always been under 1 percent. 

Energy prices had a considerable effect on the inflation rate in December 2016. Energy prices (total) were up 2.5% in December 2016 on the same month a year earlier. In the first eleven months of 2016, only price decreases had been recorded on the relevant months of the previous year (last time in November 2016: –2.7%). Prices in December 2016 were up year on year, above all, for mineral oil products (+9.0%, of which heating oil: +21.9%; motor fuels: +6.0%). Prices were slightly up also for electricity (+0.9%) and solid fuels (+0.1%). Marked decreases were recorded for charges for central and district heating (–6.4%) and gas prices (–2.7%). Excluding energy prices, the inflation rate in December 2016 would have been +1.6%, that is, markedly higher than in the preceding months. 

Food prices, too, were markedly higher (+2.5%) in December 2016 than in December 2015 (November 2016: +1.2%). In December 2016, prices of edible fats and oils (+12.3%) and of vegetables (+9.7%) were markedly up on a year earlier. Compared with December 2015, higher prices were recorded for all other food groups, too, such as fish and fish products (+3.3%), fruit (+1.4%) and confectionery (+1.3%). 

The prices of goods (total) rose 1.8% in December 2016 year on year, above all due to the increases in energy and food prices. The prices of services (total) were up 1.5% in the same period, which was mainly the result of the development of net rents exclusive of heating expenses (+1.5%). Still larger price increases were recorded, among other things, for maintenance and repair of vehicles (+2.3%), insurance services (+2.3%) and services of social facilities (+4.3%). Prices of telecommunications services were slightly down (–1.2%). 

Change in December 2016 on November 2016Compared with the previous month, the total consumer price index rose markedly by 0.7% in December 2016. As regards services, the seasonal price increase for package holidays (+20.9%) should be mentioned. Consumers had to pay more also for air tickets (+2.0%) in December 2016. Also, rail fares were up towards the end of 2016 as a result of the annual adjustments of railway fares (+2.0%, of which short-distance transport: +4.9%; long-distance transport: +1.3%). As regards goods, prices increased in December 2016 year on year especially for energy (+2.3%, including heating oil: +11.7%; motor fuels: +3.6%) and also for food (+0.9%, including vegetables: +7.1%). 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 2.3%.

Consumer price index for GermanyOverall index________Year / MonthIndex2010 = 100Change onthe previousyear Change onthe previousmonthin %A = annual average–= no figures or magnitude zero2014 A106.60.9−2015 A106.90.3−2016 A107.40.5−2015December107.00.3–0.12016January106.10.5–0.8February106.50.00.4March107.30.30.8April106.9–0.1–0.4May107.20.10.3June107.30.30.1July107.60.40.3August107.60.40.0September107.70.70.1October107.90.80.2November108.00.80.1December108.81.70.7
Consumer price index for Germany Overall index / subindexWeighting2016 ADecember 2016Change on2015 AChange onthe sameperiod ayear earlierChange onthe precedingmonthin per millin per centA = annual averageOverall index1, and non-alcoholic-beverages102.710.82.30.7Food90.520.82.50.9Meat20.760.40.90.2Fruit8.763.61.4–1.0Vegetables11. beverages and tobacco37.592.32.1–0.1Clothing and footwear44.930.72.1–2.3Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels317.29– rent exclusive of heating expenses209.931.21.50.1Household energy68.19––3.0–2.71.2Heating oil11.11–16.921.911.7Furnishings, household equipment and so on49.780.60.10.1Health44.441.61.50.0Transport134.73– fuels38.37– petrol28.38– fuel9.19– transport6.950.12.02.0Communication30.10–1.0–0.70.0Recreation and culture114.921.01.84.8Package holidays26.83– and hotels44.672.01.80.1Miscellaneous goods and services70. index Excluding heating oil and motor fuels950.521.01.40.6Excluding household energy931.810.91.80.7Excluding energy (household energy and motor fuels)893.441.21.60.6Goods479.77––durable consumer goods307.89–– index of consumer prices for Germany Enlarge picture
The harmonised index of consumer prices (HICP) for Germany, which is calculated for European purposes, rose by 0.4% in 2016 in an annual comparison with 2015. In December 2016, the HICP was markedly up by 1.7% on December 2015. Throughout the year, however, the inflation rates were clearly below the two-percent threshold, which is important for the monetary policy of the euro area. Compared with November 2016, the index rose markedly by 1.0% in December 2016. 

The provisional overall results of 3 January 2017 for the consumer price index (CPI) and the harmonised index of consumer prices (HICP) were thus confirmed. 

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:tel: +49 (0) 611 / 75 47 77,contact form
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