In recent months, consumers have suffered from skyrocketing prices for vegetables, butter and the like. As inflation falls, the situation is gradually easing.
Kassel – After inflation in Germany rose at the beginning of the year and prices for goods and services skyrocketed, the situation is increasingly calming down. The annual rate fell from 7.2 percent in April to 6.1 percent in May, according to an initial estimate by the statistics office Eurostat. Experts had expected a smaller reduction. Can consumers finally breathe a sigh of relief?
|Source: Federal Statistical Office (Destasis)|
Energy prices, in particular, are falling, which is calming inflation
As a result of the Ukraine war, inflation was in the double-digit range at times last year – energy prices went through the roof. In view of the new figures, the German government now spoke of a positive trend. "It turns out that the drivers of inflation have calmed down again, with energy prices at the forefront," said a spokesman for the Federal Ministry of Economics.
Falling gas and oil prices, as well as fewer supply bottlenecks, would dampen inflation. In June, refueling is almost as cheap as it was before the war. And the cost of heating oil has also fallen sharply: while it was still 172 euros at the beginning of the year, consumers now have to spend less than 90 euros for 100 liters. In addition, consumers can apply for subsidies.
Consumers suffer from high food prices due to inflation
However, many people still suffer most from the horrendous prices for food: many have to pay close attention to which products they can afford when shopping. Most notably, the cost of peppers, tomatoes and cucumbers exploded. But even this should finally come to an end in the coming months: After food prices were 17.2 percent higher in April compared to the previous year, the figure in May was 14.9 percent. That's still a lot, but the trend is still downwards.
Recently, the prices for fresh vegetables in particular have fallen. © Sven Hoppe/dpa
Falling inflation leads to lower prices for vegetables and oils
"Inflation is now falling from month to month, to around four percent in the summer. In November, according to our forecasts, it is still 2.9 percent," said Deka chief economist Ulrich Kater in an interview with Bild. Commerzbank chief economist Jörg Krämer reported something similar to the paper. He expects the inflation rate to fall to three percent in November. "The situation is likely to ease further, especially for energy and food," said Krämer.
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Many prices in supermarkets and discounters such as Aldi, Lidl, Rewe and Kaufland have already fallen recently. According to the Federal Statistical Office, they fell by an average of 0.8 percent in April, which consumers are likely to have noticed, especially with lower prices for fresh vegetables, sunflower and rapeseed oil as well as butter. "Since the beginning of the year, numerous products have already been permanently reduced in price," an Aldi spokesman told Bild. (tt/dpa)