Consumer prices up by 0.5 percent in March

According to first calculations by the Federal Statistical Office, consumer prices increased by 0.5% in March 2009 as compared to the respective month last year. In February 2009 the annual increase had been +1.0 %. Thus, the inflation rate in March has been the smallest since July 1999. In the monthly comparison with February prices fell by 0.1%. This low inflation rate is in particular due to falling prices for heating oil and fuels.

Prices for heating oil and fuels fell once more in March as compared to February and were down by between 17.5 % and 19.2 % (fuels) and by between 30.0 % and 38.6 % (heating oil) as compared to the previous year.

The harmonized European consumer price index for Germany is expected to increase by 0.4% in March this year as compared to last year (in February 2009: +1.0 %). In the period from February to March this year the index fell by 0.2 %. GERMAN