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German inflation reaches record 7.9% in 2022

Driven by rising energy and food prices in particular, inflation in Germany slowed at the end of 2022 but reached a record high of 7.9 percent for the year as a whole, the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis).

Crisis-related effects, such as supply bottlenecks and significant price increases at economic upstream stages, were “characteristic of the entire year”, Destatis President Ruth Brand said in a statement.

Energy prices rose 34.7 percent year-on-year, with prices for heating oil and natural gas even soaring 87.0 percent and 64.8 percent. respectively, according to Destatis.

Prices for food also outgrew overall inflation and were up 13.4 percent, reports Xinhua news agency.

Excluding energy and food prices, Germany’s annual inflation rate in 2022 would have been around half as high at 4 percent, according to Destatis.

To ease inflationary pressure on consumers and businesses, the German government set up relief packages totaling 95 billion euros ($102 billion).

Among the measures were a fuel discount and a regular social benefits increase.

In addition, a “protective umbrella” worth 200 billion euros was set up to finance a cap on electricity and gas prices that took effect at the beginning of the year.

For the month of December last year, the state even covered consumers’ heating bills in full.

High inflation was “partly mitigated” through the government’s relief measures, Brand stressed.

Leading economic institutes expect inflation in Germany to decline to around 6 percent in 2023.

“Domestic inflationary pressure will remain high for some time,” the Ifo Institute for economic research said in its latest forecast.

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