BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany’s annual consumer price inflation accelerated to a fresh 13-year high in August, data showed on Monday, underlining growing price pressures as Europe’s largest economy recovers from the pandemic and companies struggle with supply shortages.
Consumer prices, harmonized to make them comparable with inflation data from other European Union countries (HICP), rose 3.4% compared with 3.1% in July, preliminary figures from the Federal Statistics Office showed.
The August reading was in line with a Reuters poll and marked the highest since July 2008, when the harmonized inflation rate also hit 3.4%.
The national inflation rate (CPI) even soared to 3.9% in August, hitting its highest since December 1993 when the economy boomed following German reunification.
“This is due to higher energy and food prices, while the core inflation probably even fell slightly form 2.9% to 2.8%,” Commerzbank analyst Ralph Solveen said.
Germany’s preliminary consumer price figures do not include values for core inflation.
LBBW economist Elmar Voelker said the inflation rate would rise further in the coming months, pointing to special factors and base effects from a temporary reduction in VAT rates in the second half of 2020 that affected comparisons.
“From the beginning of 2022, price pressures ... will probably ebb, but the exciting question will be how quickly and how strong this weakening will be,” Voelker added.
Recent hikes in producer and import prices could be an early indication that increased inflation rates will ultimately be more persistent at the consumer level than previously thought.
“In this case, the debate within the European Central Bank, which is currently still primarily centered around the risk of low inflation, could take on a new direction,” Voelker said