The annual inflation rate in Germany, Europe’s largest economy, declined slightly to 10 per cent in November, according to preliminary figures published by the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis).
After rising for three months in a row, the rate peaked at 10.4 per cent in October, the highest level since the country’s reunification in 1990, reports Xinhua news agency citing the Destatis data.
In November, food prices still increased by an above-average rate of 21 per cent year-on-year.
Although energy prices eased slightly, German consumers were still paying 38.4 perc ent more for energy products, including household energy and motor fuels, than a year ago.
Since the start of the Russia-Ukraine war, energy and food prices have increased considerably and have had a “substantial impact on the inflation rate”, Destatis said on Tuesday.
To cushion the effects of the energy crisis and the record inflation levels, the German government has passed three relief packages worth 95 billion euros ($98 billion).
Measures include a tax reduction on natural gas from 19 per cent to 7 per cent, which took effect retroactively from October.
An even bigger “protective umbrella” of up to 200 billion euros was also set up.
On November 25, the government approved the draft laws for the “centrepiece” of the protective umbrella, the cap on electricity and gas prices.
The price cap is to be in effect until April 2024.
The aim is to “relieve consumers as well as the economy and protect them from very high energy prices,” the Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) said in a statement.
As inflation still outstrips the rise in nominal earnings, real wages in Germany are continuing to fall and declined 5.7 per cent year-on-year in the third quarter of 2022, according to provisional figures also published on Tuesday.
The German Council of Economic Experts (GCEE), the official advisory body to the government, expects an inflation rate of 8.0 per cent for 2022 before falling to 7.4 per cent in 2023.