In January smallest inflation rate in five years

In January 2009, consumer prices increased by just 0.9% as compared to January 2008. According to the Federal Statistical Office, since August 2008 the inflation rate had been continuously decreasing and remained below one percent in January 2009 for the first time in five years. Massive drops in prices for mineral oil products are still the main reason for the current low inflation rate. As compared to December 2008 the consumer price index fell by 0.5%.

In the period between January 2008 and 2009 prices for mineral oil products fell by on average 15.4%. Without taking into account mineral oil products, inflation would have been at 1.8% in January.

Prices for foodstuffs were up by on average 1.1% in January 2009 as compared to the same month in 2008. For some foodstuffs, however, prices decreased.

Prices for consumer durables fell by 0.7% over the past year. Prices for IT devices dropped by 14.8% over this same period as well as those for consumer electronics (-11.8%).

In the period from December 2008 to January 2009 prices fell by 0.5% which was mainly the consequence of the impact of seasonal factors: After the Christmas holidays prices for package trips fell by 18.7%, those for accommodation by 13.9% and those for airplane trips by 6.8%. Also less expensive in January 2009 were clothing and shoeware (-2.4%).

Prices for energy increased by 2.3% in January 2009 as compared to December 2008. For fuels prices increased by 2.2% and for heating oil by 4.6%. The same applied to prices for electricity which increased by 3.2% in January 2009.

The harmonized consumer price index for Germany (HVPI) was up by 0.9% in January as compared to January last year and down by 0.6% in comparison with December 2008. GERMAN