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German inflation highest since July 2013

Inflation in Europe's largest economy has picked up considerably, Germany's national statistics office has reported. The most recent hike in consumer prices was attributable to more expensive energy and foodstuffs.

Consumer prices in Germany increased by 1.9 percent in January year on year, the national statistics office, Destatis, said Monday on the basis of preliminary calculations.

It was thus the highest surge in inflation since July 2013, the agency pointed out. The January figure also marked the second significant monthly increase in a row, with inflation in December already soaring by 1.7 percent on an annualized basis.

Destatis noted that a surge in energy prices was the main driver behind the renewed hike, with oil and fuel prices up by 5.8 percent in January.

Germany in the lead

But Germans also had to shell out more for foodstuffs, which cost 3.2 percent more, while prices for a wide range of services spiked by 1.2 percent.

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The January inflation rate in Germany was good news for the European Central Bank, which had always aimed for a rate of little under, but close to 2.0 percent for the whole of the 19-member eurozone.

ECB President Mario Draghi has been pursuing a policy of pumping cheap money into financial markets with a view to fuel the economy and drive up inflation.

Europe's powerhouse is outpacing its euro area neighbors, with just 1.1 percent inflation recorded for the eurozone as a whole in December. Figures for January are not yet available.

hg/jd (Reuters, AFP)

 

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