WIESBADEN - Consumer prices in Germany were 0.7% higher in September 2016 than in September 2015. The inflation rate - as measured by the consumer price index - thus has gradually increased in the second half of the year. In July and August 2016, it had been 0.4% each. An inflation rate of 0.7% was last recorded in May 2015. Compared with August 2016, the consumer price index rose just slightly by 0.1% in September 2016. The Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) thus confirms its provisional overall results of 29 September 2016.
The development of energy prices (-3.6% on September 2015) had a downward effect on the overall rise in prices in September 2016, as had been the case in the preceding months. Compared with the previous two months, the decrease of energy prices slowed slightly year on year (July 2016: -7.0%, August 2016: -5.9%). In September 2016, the prices of both motor fuels (-3.5%) and household energy (-3.7%) for consumers were down on a year earlier. Among the household energy products, the price decrease was largest for heating oil (-12.5%). Decreases were also recorded for charges for central and district heating (-8.1%), gas prices (-3.2%) and solid fuel prices (-0.8%). Only electricity prices rose on the same month a year earlier ( 0.7%). Excluding energy prices, the inflation rate in September 2016 would have been 1.2%.
The rise in food prices ( 0.4%) in September 2016 was lower than the overall inflation rate. In September 2016, prices were up on a year earlier especially for edible fats and oils ( 6.5%, including butter: 12.0%, and olive oil: 9.4%). Higher prices were observed, among other things, for fruit ( 3.5%), and fish and fish products ( 3.1%). Consumers paid markedly less for dairy products (-6.0%, including curd: -17.8%; UHT milk: -11.7%; sliced cheese: -6.9%).
The prices of goods (total) fell by 0.1% in September 2016 compared with September 2015, the main reason being the decrease in energy prices (-3.6%). Prices were also down for consumer electronics (−2.9%) and clothing (−1.0%). Besides total food prices, however, year-on-year prices were up for some goods, such as jewellery, clocks and watches ( 2.9%), tobacco products ( 3.3%), and newspapers and periodicals ( 3.9%).
Contrary to the price decrease for goods (total), the prices of services (total) rose by 1.3% in September 2016 from September 2015. This development was mainly due to the increase in net rents exclusive of heating expenses ( 1.3% from September 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 ( 4.2%), insurance services ( 3.2%), and recreational and cultural services ( 2.0%). A consumer-friendly price development was recorded for few services, such as telecommunications services (-1.5%).
Compared with August 2016, total consumer prices fell just slightly by 0.1% in September 2016. Marked price increases on the previous month were observed for clothing ( 6.6%) and footwear ( 7.5%). A major reason here was the changeover to the autumn/winter collection. Energy prices, too, went up in September 2016 ( 0.7%). Month-on-month price increases were recorded here especially for motor fuels ( 1.5%) and heating oil ( 2.6%). Food prices remained nearly unchanged ( 0.1%).