WIESBADEN - Consumer prices in Germany were 0.4% higher in August 2016 than in August 2015. The consumer price index in August 2016 remained unchanged compared with July 2016. This means that the inflation rate as measured by the consumer price index persists at a low level. A slightly higher rate had last been recorded in January 2016 ( 0.5%). The Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) thus confirms its provisional overall results of 30 August 2016.
As in the preceding months, the low inflation rate in August 2016 was mainly due to the decrease in energy prices (-5.9%). Compared with the previous month, the decrease of energy prices slowed down year on year; it had stood at -7.0% in July 2016. Consumers benefited especially from the prices of mineral oil products, which were down in August 2016 on a year earlier (-10.4%, of which heating oil: -15.0%, and motor fuels: -9.1%). The prices of other energy products, too, were below the level of a year earlier (for example, charges for central and district heating: -8.6%; gas: -3.1%). Only electricity prices rose compared with the previous year ( 0.7%). Excluding energy prices, the inflation rate in August 2016 would have been 1.1%.
Food prices (total) were 0.9% higher in August 2016 than in August 2015. Year-on-year prices increased especially for fruit ( 4.2%) and vegetables ( 5.3%, including potatoes: 10.9%) as well as for edible fats and oils ( 5.5%, including butter: 7.8%, and olive oil: 8.3%). Marked price increases were also recorded for fish and fish products ( 3.4%). In contrast, consumers paid less especially for dairy products (-6.4%).
The prices of goods (total) fell by 0.6% in August 2016 compared with August 2015, the main reason being the decrease in energy prices (-5.9%). Substantial price decreases were also observed for coffee, tea and cocoa (-4.1%). In addition, consumers enjoyed lower prices for footwear (-2.0%) and clothing (-1.8%). Besides total food prices, however, year-on-year prices were markedly up for some goods, such as tobacco products ( 3.3%) and newspapers and periodicals ( 4.1%).
Contrary to the decrease in goods prices, the prices of services (total) rose by 1.3% in August 2016 from August 2015. This development was mainly due to the increase in net rents exclusive of heating expenses ( 1.2% from August 2015), on which households spend roughly a fifth of their consumption expenditure. Larger year-on-year increases of service prices were observed, among other things, for services of social facilities ( 4.1%), insurance services ( 2.8%) and catering services ( 2.0%). More consumer-friendly prices were recorded, for example, in the field of telecommunication (-1.5%) and package holidays (-0.5%).
Compared with July 2016, consumer prices as a whole remained unchanged in August 2016. The month-on-month comparison revealed higher prices, for example, for package holidays ( 0.5%; of which domestic holidays: 2.9%; holidays abroad: 0.3%). More substantial price increases were observed for clothing ( 2.0%), especially because the autumn/winter collection has started to arrive.
The month-on-month prices of air tickets, however, declined considerably (-4.0%). Consumers benefited from slightly lower food prices (-0.4%), especially for vegetables (-3.8%, including potatoes: -12.6%). Energy prices, too, went down in August 2016 (-0.9%). Price decreases were recorded for both motor fuels (-1.6%) and household energy (-0.5%, including heating oil: -2.8%) compared with the previous month.
Publisher: Federal Statistical Office of Germany Press Office Indication of source requested for distribution