Inflation rate slows in December 2022 but remains at high level (+8.6%)
Press release No. 022 of 17 January 2023
Consumer price index, December and year 2022
+8.6% on the same month a year earlier (provisional result confirmed)
-0.8% on the previous month (provisional result confirmed)
+7.9% on an annual average in 2022 compared with 2021 (provisional result confirmed)
Harmonised index of consumer prices, December and year 2022
+9.6% on the same month a year earlier (provisional result confirmed)
-1.2% on the previous month (provisional result confirmed)
+8.7% on an annual average in 2022 compared with 2021 (provisional result confirmed)
WIESBADEN − Consumer prices in Germany rose by 7.9% in 2022 on an annual average compared with 2021. The Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) reports that the year-on-year rate of price increase thus was markedly higher than in the previous years. In 2021, it had been +3.1%. “The historically high year-on-year inflation rate was mainly driven by the extreme price rises for energy products and food since war started in Ukraine”, said Dr. Ruth Brand, the new President of the Federal Statistical Office since 1 January 2023. In December 2022, the inflation rate, measured as the year-on-year change in the consumer price index, stood at +8.6%. Although it slowed towards the end of the year, it remained at a high level.
High inflation rate in 2022 characterised by special effects caused by crisis and war
The monthly inflation rates were high through the entire year of 2022 and reached the 10-percent threshold in September. The highest rate was measured in October 2022 (+10.4%). “Crisis and war-related effects such as delivery bottlenecks and significant price increases at upstream stages in the economic process were characteristic of the entire year. Although these price rises were not completely passed on, consumers had to pay considerably more especially for energy and food”, Brand said. “The unusually high monthly inflation rates observed in 2022 were partly mitigated through relief measures. This included the 9-euro ticket, the fuel discount, the abolishment of the EEG surcharge, the reduction of VAT on gas and district heating and the one-off payment of the gas and heating invoice for the month of December.”
Prices of energy products in particular rose 34.7% on an annual average in 2022
The prices of energy products were markedly up by 34.7% in 2022 year on year, following a 10.4% increase in 2021. Consumers had to pay considerably more in 2022 for household energy (+39.1%). Particularly large price rises were recorded for heating oil (+87.0%) and natural gas (+64.8%). Prices were up also for other household energy products; electricity was by 20.1% more expensive than a year earlier, for example. Motor fuel prices increased by 26.8%. This applied to all motor fuel types, though to different degrees (for example, Diesel fuel: +39.6%; supergrade petrol: +21.8%). The relief measures taken because of the high energy prices temporarily reduced the increase in energy prices in the course of the year. Excluding energy prices, the year-on-year rate of price increase in 2022 would have been only +4.9%.
Food prices rose 13.4% in 2022 compared with 2021
Food prices rose 13.4% in 2022 compared with 2021. In 2021, the rate of price increase had been +3.2%. On an annual average in 2022, all food groups were affected by price rises. Prices rose above average for edible fats and oils (+36.2%, including sunflower oil, rapeseed oil and the like: +63.9%; butter: +39.1%) as well as dairy products and eggs (+19.7%). The prices of other food groups, too, such as meat and meat products (+14.6%) or bread and cereals (+13.5%) increased above average in 2022 on 2021.
The year-on-year rate of price increase excluding energy and food was +4.0% in 2022, which is just about half the overall inflation rate.
Prices of goods rose by 13.5% in 2022 on 2021, service prices by 2.9%
The prices of goods (total) were up 13.5% on an annual average in 2022 from 2021, the main reason being higher prices of non-durable consumer goods (+18.0%), including energy products and food. Price increases of 5.3% were observed for durable consumer goods, including marked price rises for vehicles (+8.7%, including second-hand cars: +21.2%) as well as furniture and lighting (+7.9%).
The prices of services (total) were up 2.9% in 2022 compared with the previous year. Net rents exclusive of heating expenses, which are important for this development, rose 1.8% on an annual average. Much stronger price increases were recorded for some services like, for example, restaurant and accommodation services (+7.4%) and the maintenance and repair of vehicles (+6.4%). Prices were up also for letter and parcel services (+3.1%), for instance. Price decreases were also observed for some services in 2022. Prices were down, for instance, for telecommunications (-1.2%) and for services of social facilities (-1.7%), the latter being due to the implementation of the long-term care reform that became effective on 1 January 2022. In addition, the 9-euro ticket had an effect on prices in public short-distance passenger transport. As a result, rail fares were down 8.8% in short-distance transport and 14.3% in combined transport on an annual average in 2022.
Inflation rate slowed in December 2022 mainly due to lower energy prices
The inflation rate in Germany stood at +8.6% in December 2022, compared with +10.0% in November 2022. In December 2022, it was notable that the rise in energy prices slowed to +24.4% after amounting to +38.7% in November 2022. A major reason for the decline was the December immediate assistance, a measure from the third relief package of the Federal Government. Part of the households did not have to pay the monthly one-off payment for their natural gas and district heating invoices. As a consequence, the rate of price increase for natural gas (+26.1%) was significantly lower in December 2022 than in the months before. District heating even cost 17.5% less than a year earlier. In November 2022, natural gas prices had increased by 112.2% and district heating prices by 36.6%. The prices of other energy products also rose less strongly, with heating oil up by 45.0% and motor fuel by 8.9% year on year. Energy prices, however, did not go down and were 27.2% higher in December than a year earlier. Food prices did not ease either, they increased by 20.7% over the same period. Higher prices were seen in all food groups in December 2022.
Excluding food and energy prices, the inflation rate of December 2022 would have been +5.2%. Excluding energy prices it would have stood at +6.8%.
Goods prices rose by 13.9% on December 2021, service prices by 3.9%
As in the previous months, prices of other goods and services increased also due to the situation of war and crisis. The prices of goods (total) were up 13.9% in December 2022 on the same month of the previous year. In addition to energy and food, more had to be paid for consumer goods (+6.8%, including furniture and lighting equipment: +10.1%; clothing: +5.1%). The prices of services (total) were up 3.9% in the same period, including net rents exclusive of heating expenses: +1.9%. Marked price increases were recorded, for example, for restaurant and accommodation services (+9.6%) as well as hairdresser services and other services for personal care (+7.5%). In contrast, lower prices were observed for only a few services such as telecommunications (-1.2%).
Especially energy prices (total) down 11.6% month on month
Compared with November 2022, the consumer price index fell by 0.8% in December 2022. A major reason was the decrease in energy prices by 11.6% on a month earlier. Considerable price drops were seen for natural gas (-39.1%) and district heating (-39.6%) as a consequence of the December immediate assistance. The prices of heating oil (-12.1%) and motor fuel (-8.9%) eased as well, while electricity prices went up slightly (+0.4%). In addition, households again had to pay more for food (+0.8%). Rail tickets also became more expensive as a result of the annual adjustments of railway fares in December 2022 (+3.1%, including short-distance transport: +3.9%).
The third relief package has been adopted by the Federal Government and contains measures aimed at containing the increase in energy prices. The reduction of the turnover tax on gas and district heating from 19% to 7% became effective in October 2022, and in November 2022 that legal provision was retrospectively introduced also for liquefied gas to apply as of October 2022. In addition, the one-off payment of the December 2022 gas and heating invoices was adopted as a relief measure in view of the rise in energy prices and is partly reflected in the index. Before, the measures of the second relief package had had an effect in 2022. However, the 9-euro ticket and the fuel discount, as they were called, ended at the end of August 2022. The abolishment of the EEG surcharge as of July 2022 is still reflected in the index. For an overview explaining the relief measures and their impact on consumer prices see the website of the Federal Statistical Office.
In addition, the CO2 charge was increased from 25 to 30 euros, which had an upward effect on all energy product prices in 2022.
The consumer price index (CPI) and the harmonised index of consumer prices (HICP) differ in coverage and methodology. In contrast to the HICP, the CPI includes also household expenditure on owner-occupied housing, games of chance and broadcasting fees. In addition, the HICP product weights are updated annually. As the weight of housing is much smaller in the HICP basket, price increases in other product groups have a larger impact on the HICP than on the CPI. These differences (coverage, methodology and weighting) explain the in part considerable differences between the CPI and the HICP for Germany.
Explanatory notes and a methodological paper which discusses this issue are provided on the website of the Federal Statistical Office.
Note: consumer price statistics revision
The consumer price index for Germany is revised and a new base year is introduced at regular intervals. With effect from reference month January 2023, the index will be rebased from 2015 to base year 2020. In this context, the results from January 2020 onwards will be recalculated. At the same time, the results using base year 2015 will be revised.
|31 January 2023||Provisional result for January 2023|
|22 February 2023||Final result for January 2023 and all results recalculated from January 2020 onwards using the new 2020 base year|
Inflation Calculator informs about personal rate of inflation:
Consumers can use the Personal Inflation Calculator of the Federal Statistical Office to adapt their monthly consumption expenditure on individual product groups according to their own consumption patterns and to calculate their personal inflation rate. In addition, the Price Kaleidoscope gives an overview of the price trend and the weights of various products.
More information on consumer price statistics is contained in Fachserie 17, Reihe 7 "Verbraucherpreise für Deutschland" Detailed results can also be found in the tables on the consumer price index (61111-0004) and (61111-0006) and on the harmonised index of consumer prices (61121-0002) and (61121-0004) in the GENESIS-Online database. The table "Verbraucherpreisindex – Preisentwicklung für Nahrungsmittel" (only in german) contains information on changes in the prices of individual food products.
Consumer price index results are available in the Dashboard Germany (www.dashboard-deutschland.de) (only in german). This data portal of the Federal Statistical Office combines up-to-date indicators of official statistics and from other data providers on the topics of economy and finance as well as health and mobility. A tool also available there is the Economic Pulse Monitor (Pulsmesser Wirtschaft) (only in german). It can be used for real-time monitoring of the economic development.
Russia’s attack on Ukraine and the related sanctions have an impact on many parts of the economy and society. Relevant data and information are provided on a special webpage (www.destatis.de/ukraine).
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