Since Russia’s attack on Ukraine, the prices of natural gas and mineral oil products have markedly increased again and have had a considerable impact on the high rate of inflation. A similarly high inflation rate in Germany was last recorded in autumn 1981 when mineral oil prices had sharply increased, too, as a consequence of the first Gulf war. Additional factors in the current reference month are delivery bottlenecks due to interruptions in supply chains caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and the marked increases in energy product prices at upstream stages in the economic process.
The Covid-19 pandemic and its consequences for public life still require a changed approach to the updating of the product weights used in the harmonised index of consumer prices (HICP). A methodological paper which discusses this issue is provided on the website of the Federal Statistical Office.
You may use our Personal Inflation Calculator to adapt your monthly consumption expenditure on individual product groups according to your own consumption patterns and to calculate your personal inflation rate.
The final results for March 2022 will be released on 12 April 2022.
Inflation hit 8.5 percent in the United States last month, the fastest 12-month pace since 1981, as a surge in gasoline prices tied to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine added to sharp increases coming from the collision of strong demand and stubborn pandemic-related supply shortages.
Fuel prices jumped to record levels across much of the nation and grocery costs soared, the Labor Department said Tuesday in its monthly report on the Consumer Price Index. The price pressures have been painful for American households, especially those that have lower incomes and devote a big share of their budgets to necessities.
But the news was not uniformly bad: A measure that strips out volatile food and fuel prices decelerated slightly from February as used car prices swooned. Economists and policymakers took that as a sign that inflation in goods might be starting to cool off after climbing at a breakneck pace for much of the past year.
Given the pop in gasoline prices in March, “these numbers are likely to represent something of a peak,” said Gregory Daco, the chief economist at Ernst & Young’s strategy consultancy, EY-Parthenon. Still, he said, it will be crucial to watch whether price increases excluding food and fuel — so-called core prices — slow down in the months ahead.
Core prices climbed at a brisk 6.5 percent in the year through March, up from 6.4 percent in the year through February. Even so, it slowed down a bit on a monthly basis, rising 0.3 percent from February, compared with 0.5 percent the prior month.
There are a few hopeful signs that inflation could slow in the months ahead.
The first is largely mechanical. Prices began to pop last spring, which means changes will be measured against a higher year-ago number in the months ahead.
More fundamentally, March’s data showed that prices for some goods, including used cars and apparel, moderated or even fell — though the signal was somewhat inconsistent, with furniture prices rising sharply. If rapid inflation in prices for goods does wane, it could help overall inflation subside.
The critical question is how much and how quickly prices will come down, and recent developments ramp up the risks that uncomfortably rapid inflation could linger.
Services costs, including rent and other housing expenses, are increasing more rapidly. Those measures move slowly, and are likely to be a major factor determining the course of inflation.
Wages are up sharply, pushing costs up for employers and potentially prompting them to lift prices. Businesses may feel that they have the power to pass rising costs along to customers, and even to expand their profits, because consumers have continued to spend during a full year of rapid price increases.
And cheaper goods are not guaranteed. A coronavirus outbreak is shuttering cities and disrupting production in China, and the war in Ukraine adds a huge dose of uncertainty about commodity prices and supply chains.