Consumer prices increased by 3.1 percent

According to provisional calculations by the Federal Statistical Office, consumer prices in Germany increased by 3.1% in March this year as compared to March 2007. Thus, the annual increase in consumer prices is even steeper than in February (+2.8%). The month-to-month increase from February to March this year amounted to +0.5%.

The Federal Statistical Office says that the driving forces behind the increase are in particular higher prices for food, non-alcoholic beverages as well as mineral oil products. Thus, prices for food and non-alcoholic beverages increased by between 0.2% and 0.9% from February to March 2008 and by between 7.3% and 9.6% since March 2007. These figures apply to six Federal States which made data available. Prices for fuel oil increased by between 5.1% and 8.9% in the month-to-month comparison and by between 35.8% and 44.3% in the annual comparison. Prices for fuel rose by between 3.6% and 5.3% since February 2008 and by between 11.6% and 14.4% since March 2007.

Prices for electricity and natural gas remained virtually unchanged (changes by between -0.2% and +0.1%).

Due to seasonal factors, prices for package trips increased by +0.8% since February 2008 which is a plus by 4.8% in comparison with March 2007. This increase can be explained by the Easter Holidays which this year happened to be in March and not in April as was the case in the year 2007.

The harmonized European consumer price index for Germany will presumably increase by 3.2% in March as compared to March last year (annual increase in February 2008: +2.9%). Since February 2008 it rose by 0.5%. GERMAN