WIESBADEN - Consumer prices in Germany were 0.3% higher in March 2016 compared with March 2015. The inflation rate as measured by the consumer price index thus increased slightly (February 2016: 0.0%). In January 2016, it had been 0.5%. Compared with February 2016, the consumer price index rose markedly by 0.8% in March 2016. The Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) thus confirms its provisional overall results of 30 March 2016.
The decrease in energy prices (-8.9% on March 2015) had a considerable downward effect on the overall inflation rate again. Among energy products, especially the prices of heating oil (-28.3%) and motor fuels (-13.5%) were down in March 2016 on a year earlier. The prices of other energy products, too, were below the level of a year earlier (for example, charges for central and district heating: -9.3%; gas: -2.6%). Consumers had to pay slightly more only for electricity ( 0.2%). Excluding energy prices, the inflation rate in March 2016 would have been markedly higher ( 1.4%).
The fact that Easter fell early this year (2016: in late March, 2015: in early April) had an upward effect on prices in March 2016. Due to the calendar effect, prices were up especially for package holidays ( 7.1%) in a year-on-year comparison. The price movement regarding package holidays alone contributed just under 0.2 percentage points to the current inflation rate.
Also, food prices rose 1.3% in March 2016 year on year. Prices in March 2016 increased on a year earlier especially for fruit ( 7.5%) and vegetables ( 6.4%). Price rises were also recorded for fish and fish products ( 3.5%), and bread and cereals ( 0.8%). Consumers paid less than a year earlier especially for edible oils and fats (-6.5%) and for dairy products (-3.3%).
The prices of goods (total) fell by 1.2% in March 2016 compared with the same month a year earlier, the main reason being the decrease in energy prices (-8.9%). Other price decreases were recorded for coffee, tea and cocoa (-3.8%) and articles and products for personal care (-2.0%). Apart from food prices ( 1.3%), considerable price increases were observed for some other goods, for example, jewellery, clocks and watches ( 4.7%), newspapers and periodicals ( 4.4%) and tobacco products ( 3.9%).
The prices of services (total) in March 2016 were by 1.6% higher than in March 2015. Again, this price increase was mainly due to the moderate rise in net rents exclusive of heating expenses ( 1.1%). Marked price increases were recorded not only for package holidays ( 7.1%) but also for recreational and sporting services ( 4.8%), hairdresser services and other services for personal care ( 2.9%) and catering services in restaurants, cafes and the like ( 2.4%). The price development remained consumer-friendly for telecommunications services (-1.6%).
Compared with February 2016, the consumer price index rose by 0.8% in March 2016. Part of this increase was due to seasonal factors. Especially the prices of package holidays ( 10.1%, including those abroad: 10.8%) were higher than in the previous month. The prices of clothing ( 5.6%) and footwear ( 7.0%) rose especially with the changeover to the spring and summer collection.
Also, in March 2016, the prices of energy (total) were up 1.0%, especially those of heating oil ( 10.1%), on a month earlier. For the first time this year, consumers had to pay slightly more also for motor fuels (total) ( 1.3%, including diesel fuel: 4.1%, but autogas: -1.5%). Food prices (total) were just slightly up ( 0.4%) in March 2016 compared with the previous month. Price increases were observed for fruit ( 1.7%) and vegetables ( 2.8%), decreases for example for edible oils and fats (-3.5%, including butter: -6.2%).
Publisher: Federal Statistical Office of Germany Press Office Indication of source requested for distribution