For the first time in months, producer prices in Germany, i.e. prices at company level, rose slightly again on a monthly basis in April. This was announced by the Federal Statistical Office in Wiesbaden on Friday.
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This was a disappointment: economists and analysts had expected on average that the easing of tensions in recent months would continue. Now prices have risen by an average of 0.3 percent compared to March.
Nevertheless, the inflation rate has continued to decline over the course of the year, so this development should probably not be overestimated, according to the tenor of the reactions on Friday. That doesn't necessarily seem to be a sign that inflation is picking up again.
The development of producer prices is also relevant because it often arrives at consumer prices with a time lag and to a lesser extent.
The inflation rate – measured as a year-on-year change in the CPI consumer price index – was 7.2 percent in Germany in April, down from 7.4 percent in March. In the eurozone as a whole, the inflation rate was 7.0 percent in April, down from 6.9 percent in March.
Consumer-level food prices had fallen on average in April for the first time in a long time compared to the previous month. Compared to the same month last year, however, there is still a double-digit increase.
Capital goods are becoming more expensive
On an annual basis, the increase in producer prices for industrial products such as food and household appliances, cement and steel nevertheless slowed down in April. Prices climbed by 4.1 percent compared to April 2022 – the smallest increase in two years.
The main reason for the rise in producer prices in April was capital goods – machinery, for example, cars and steel products. Prices for these goods climbed by 6.8 percent year-on-year.
Sugar price rises by almost 90 percent
Prices for consumer goods such as food even rose by 2022.11 percent compared to April 4 – sugar was almost 90 percent more expensive, processed potatoes around 40 percent, pork 18.5 percent. Butter (down 22.4 percent) and vegetable oils (down 35.7 percent) were cheaper than a year ago. Prices for consumer durables such as furniture and household appliances rose by 8.8 percent.
Energy prices, on the other hand, were only 2.8 percent higher than in April 2022, according to the statisticians. Natural gas in distribution still cost 10.8 percent more than in April 2022. Prices for electricity fell by 2.9 percent, while those for petroleum products fell by as much as 15 percent. Gasoline and diesel, for example, were around 13 percent cheaper in April than in the same month last year.