Coin Shortage Prompts Calls to Round Prices Up | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 09.07.2004
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Coin Shortage Prompts Calls to Round Prices Up

In the face of an acute small change shortage in Germany, consumer experts from the opposition parties are urging retailers to round up their prices. "Instead of demanding awkward prices like €1.99 or €1.85, the shops should round them up to €2 or €1.80," Christian Democratic politician Peter Harry Carstensen told the Bild Zeitung. "People have more coins in their pockets for prices that are rounded up," said Hans-Michael Goldmann of the liberal Free Democrats. In recent weeks, the country has seen a massive lack of one, two and five cent coins, prompting the Bundesbank to urge citizens to make cashless payments and to shake out their piggy banks to ensure a sufficient circulation of the coins. However the Federal Retailers' Association (HDE) has turned down the demands to round up their prices, warning that it would lead to price hikes in most cases. "Politicians should keep out of the prices, that is regulated by the market," HDE spokesman Hubertus Pellengahr told AFP.