By Maria Martinez


German consumer prices rose strongly in 2021, posting their highest annual reading since 1993, statistics office Destatis said Wednesday.

Consumer prices in Germany rose 3.1% on average in 2021 compared with 2020. The inflation rate in the previous year was 0.5%.

The increase in the inflation rate was caused mainly by base effects due to lower prices in 2020, Georg Thiel, president of the federal statistics office, said. In this context, the temporary reduction in the value added tax in 2020 and the sharp decline in mineral-oil product prices also had an upward effect on the overall inflation rate, Mr. Thiel said.

"In addition to the temporary base effects of the past, there are more and more crisis-related effects such as delivery bottlenecks and marked price increases at upstream stages in the economic process," Mr. Thiel said.

The prices of energy products were markedly up, rising 10.4% on year in 2021, following a 4.8% decline in 2020. Like the base effects, which were due to the very low prices in 2020, the CO2 charge introduced at the beginning of the year had an upward effect on prices here, Destatis said.

Food prices rose 3.2% in 2021 compared with 2020. Destatis said the price increase surged in the second half of 2021 due to the base effect resulting from a cut in the value added tax rate.

The prices of goods were up 4.3% on average in 2021 compared with 2020. Non-durable consumer goods recorded a 5.4% increase. The prices of durable consumer goods rose 2.4%, including price increases in vehicles, as well as furniture and lighting equipment. The prices of services were up 2.1% in 2021 compared with the previous year.

Much stronger price increases were recorded for some services, including services of social facilities, maintenance and repair of vehicles and hairdresser services and other services for personal care.

Telecommunications prices remained nearly unchanged, while for example long-distance rail tickets were 1.8% less expensive, Destatis's data showed.

In December, consumer prices rose 5.3% on year measured by national standards, reaching its highest level in 2021 at the end of the year, in line with the forecast of economists in a poll conducted by The Wall Street Journal. They rose 5.7% on year by European Union-harmonized standards, also in line with forecasts.

Consumer prices rose 0.5% on month by national standards and 0.3% by EU-harmonized standards, both in line with forecasts.


Write to Maria Martinez at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 19, 2022 04:05 ET (09:05 GMT)

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