19.01.2022 – 08:00
Federal Office of Statistics
Consumer price index, December and year 2021
+5.3% compared to the same month last year (preliminary result confirmed)
+0.5% on the previous month (preliminary result confirmed)
+3.1% annual average 2021 compared to 2020 (preliminary result confirmed)
Harmonized Index of Consumer Prices, December and year 2021
+5.7% compared to the same month last year (preliminary result confirmed)
+0.3% on the previous month (preliminary result confirmed)
+3.2% annual average 2021 compared to 2020 (preliminary result confirmed)
Consumer prices in Germany increased by 3.1% on average in 2021 compared to 2020. The decisive factor was above all the high monthly inflation rates in the second half of 2021. As the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) also reports, the inflation rate in the previous year was still +0.5%. A higher annual inflation rate than in 2021 was last determined almost 30 years ago (1993: +4.5%).
In December 2021, the inflation rate – measured as the change in the consumer price index (CPI) compared to the same month last year – was +5.3%. At the end of the year, it reached its highest level in 2021.
High inflation rate in 2021 compared to 2020 has various causes
The high monthly inflation rates in the second half of 2021 are primarily responsible for the annual rate. “The price development in 2021 has various causes, including base effects due to low prices in 2020. The temporary reduction in VAT rates in the second half of 2020 and the price decline of mineral oil products in the previous year increases the current overall price increase,” said Dr. Georg Thiel, President of the Federal Statistical Office. “In addition to the temporary basic effects from the past, crisis-related effects such as supply bottlenecks and the significant price increases on the upstream economic levels are increasingly having an effect. These are partly reflected in the consumer price index”.
On average in 2021, energy products in particular became more expensive
Energy products rose significantly in price by 10.4% in 2021 compared to the previous year, after a decline of 4.8% in 2020. Consumers saw price increases in 2021 for light heating oil (+41.8%) and fuels (+22.6%). Prices for other household energy such as natural gas (+4.7%) and electricity (+1.4%) also increased. In addition to the base effects from the very low prices in 2020, the CO2 tax introduced at the beginning of the year had the effect of increasing prices here. Without taking energy prices into account, the annual rate of inflation in 2021 would have been +2.3%.
Food prices increased by 3.2% in 2021 vs. 2020
Food prices increased by 3.2% in 2021 compared to 2020. In the second half of 2021, the upward trend in prices increased by leaps and bounds due to the base effect due to the reduction in VAT rates. All food groups were significantly more expensive in 2021, especially cooking oils and fats (+5.3%) and vegetables (+3.9%).
Goods increased by 4.3% in 2021 compared to 2020, services only by 2.1%
Goods as a whole increased in price by 4.3% on average in 2021 compared to 2020, especially consumer goods with an increase of 5.4%. Durable goods increased by 2.4%, including for example vehicles (+4.5%) and furniture and lighting (+3.2%). The prices for services as a whole increased by 2.1% in 2021 compared to the previous year. Net cold rents had a price-dampening effect here at +1.3%. The prices of some services increased significantly more, including social services (+5.4%), vehicle maintenance and repairs (+4.4%), hairdressing and personal hygiene (+4. 0%). The prices for telecommunications remained almost unchanged (+0.1%), long-distance train journeys, for example, became slightly cheaper (-1.8%).
Inflation rate in December 2021 at +5.3%, mainly due to increased energy prices
In December 2021, consumer prices were a total of 5.3% higher than in December 2020. Monthly inflation rates have therefore continued to rise, especially in the second half of 2021. In addition to the base effect from the temporary reduction in the VAT rate, the prices for energy products were again responsible for the high inflation rate in December 2021. Energy prices were 18.3% above the level of the same month last year. CO2 pricing and the development of raw material prices also had an impact here. Within a year, light heating oil (+61.0%) and motor fuels (+33.8%) in particular became more expensive. Food prices increased at an above-average rate of 6.0% in the same period (November 2021: +4.5%). Vegetables in particular became more expensive (+9.9%). Excluding food and energy prices, the December 2021 inflation rate would have been +3.7%, excluding energy +3.8%.
The prices of all goods increased by 7.8% in December 2021 compared to the same month last year. In addition to energy and food, clothing and shoes (+5.5%) also became more expensive for consumers. In contrast, the prices for services as a whole increased by 3.1% in the same period. Among these, in addition to net cold rents (+1.5%), some other services also increased (e.g. vehicle maintenance and repairs: +6.0%; services of social institutions: +4.6%).
Rising prices for trains and food, for example, compared to the previous month
Compared to November 2021, the consumer price index increased by 0.5% in December 2021. Among other things, the prices for train tickets rose (+2.3%) as part of the annual tariff changes in December. Food prices also increased (+1.1%, including vegetables: +3.7%). On the other hand, energy prices at the end of the year fell compared to the previous month, especially for heating oil (-6.0%) and motor fuels (-4.1%).
The measures taken to limit the corona pandemic led in some cases to failures in the monthly price collection over the course of the year. However, the quality was guaranteed. If quality reductions were observed in certain goods areas, the results were marked. Our methods paper contains more detailed information on the procedures during the Corona crisis and their effects on price collection.
Our “StatGestalk” podcast on the subject of inflation provides you with background information and analyzes of the consequences of the corona pandemic for price developments. In it, we also explain the role of base effects.
With our personal inflation calculator you can also compare the official inflation rate with your personal inflation rate by changing the weights for some goods according to your own consumption habits.
The results of the consumer price index, along with other indicators for classifying the economic consequences of the corona pandemic, are also available on the special “Corona Statistics” page on the Federal Statistical Office’s website.
Crisis monitor enables comparison between the corona crisis and the financial and economic crisis
The consumer price index is also part of the “crisis monitor” (www.destatis.de/krisenmonitor), with which the Federal Statistical Office compares the development of important economic indicators in the Corona crisis and in the financial and economic crisis of 2008/2009. The crisis monitor supplements the special page “Corona Statistics” (www.destatis.de/corona), which bundles statistical information on the economic and social consequences of the corona pandemic.
On January 20, 2022, the statistical office of the European Union (Eurostat) will publish the inflation rate for the euro area for December 2021. The corona pandemic with its restrictions on public life and the resulting consequences made it necessary to change the usual procedure for the annual update of the goods weights of the Harmonized Index of Consumer Prices (HICP) for 2021. A corresponding methods paper is available on the website of the Federal Statistical Office. The goods weights in the HICP explain a significant part of the deviation between the CPI and the HICP for Germany.
Specialist series 17, series 7 “Consumer prices for Germany” and the monthly online report “Harmonized consumer price indices” provide further information on consumer price statistics. Detailed data on consumer price statistics can be accessed via the tables consumer price index (61111-0004) and (61111-0006) as well as the harmonized consumer price index (61121-0002) and (61111-0004) in the GENESIS-Online database.
The complete press release as well as further information and functions are available on the website of the Federal Statistical Office at https://www.destatis.de/pressemitteilungen to find.
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