News Details
Category : World
Headline : German inflation eases slightly in August
Date: 30/08/2023 19:21
In August, the rate of inflation in Germany experienced a minor decrease, as indicated by the latest data unveiled on Wednesday. However, economists are projecting that the downward trajectory of headline inflation will gather momentum in the forthcoming months. The preliminary figures from the federal statistics office reveal that consumer prices, adjusted to allow comparison with other European Union nations, rose by 6.4% compared to the same period last year. This outcome slightly exceeded the expectations of analysts polled by Reuters, who had predicted a harmonized annual inflation rate of 6.3%, following the 6.5% recorded in July.

Meanwhile, the non-harmonized inflation rate in Germany dipped from 6.2% in July to 6.1% in August. Carsten Brzeski, ING's global head of macro, noted that the subsequent notable decline in German headline inflation is anticipated in September. ING's forecast indicates that German inflation is projected to decrease to approximately 3% by the year's end. This expected reduction in the inflation rate is attributed to the alleviation of external cost pressures. Ralph Solveen, senior economist at Commerzbank, highlighted that import prices experienced their most substantial year-on-year decrease since 1987 in July, indicating a decrease in external cost pressures. However, Solveen also noted that robust wage growth might continue to propel service prices upward, which would likely maintain the core inflation rate above the European Central Bank's 2% target.

The release of this data from Germany, the largest economy in the euro zone, coincides with the European Central Bank's ongoing search for indications that underlying inflation is undergoing a shift. The core inflation rate for Germany, excluding volatile items like food and energy, remained steady at 5.5% in August, consistent with the previous month.

Certain sectors, such as food and energy, displayed inflation rates higher than the average, with food prices exhibiting a year-on-year surge of 9.0% and energy prices escalating by 8.3%. The latter increase was attributed to governmental measures that had kept prices lower during the preceding summer. Attention is now directed toward the forthcoming euro zone inflation data, scheduled for release on Thursday, in the wake of the German statistics and a higher-than-expected inflation reading from Spain.

According to economists surveyed by Reuters, the inflation rate across the 20 euro zone countries is expected to drop from 5.3% in July to 5.1% in August. Consequently, Wednesday's data implies that the headline and core inflation rates for the euro zone will likely be slightly higher than initially projected. Andrew Kenningham, Chief Europe Economist at Capital Economics, pointed out that this data release, being the final one before the ECB's September meeting, could potentially sway the decision toward a further 25 basis points rate hike, although it is expected to be a closely contested decision. The next monetary policy meeting for the ECB is scheduled for September 14.

While inflation remains significantly above the central bank's target of 2%, possibly persisting until 2025 before returning to that level, the ongoing debate centers on how much more action the ECB needs to take in response to weaker economic indicators. Carsten Brzeski of ING noted that if the ECB maintains its current strategy of prioritizing actual data over projected data, the likelihood of a rate hike during the September meeting has increased.