German import prices rise at fastest rate in 40 years

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Containers are seen at a terminal in the port of Hamburg, Germany, on November 14, 2019. REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer
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BERLIN (Businesshala) – German import prices rose the fastest in 40 years last month, driven by a boom in the price of oil and gas, and worsening supply chain bottlenecks for raw materials, which could hurt consumers. indicating further increase in prices.

The Federal Statistics Office said on Wednesday that import prices rose 16.5% in August from a year earlier, well above economists’ forecasts for a 16.1% increase and up from 15.0% in July.

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The August increase was the sharpest increase since September 1981, when the second oil crisis pushed prices up as much as 17.4%.

The Office of Statistics said the price of energy imports rose 93.6% in August compared to a year earlier, mainly due to a strong increase in the price of natural gas.

The price of many raw materials also rose sharply. The price of iron ore was up 96.8% in August, and the price of timber and firewood was up 61.6%, and basic iron, steel and iron-alloys were up 57.7%.

At the same time, supply chain bottlenecks affecting German companies got worse, a survey published by the Ifo Institute on Wednesday showed.

About 77.4% of German industrial firms reported difficulties procuring intermediates and raw materials this month. Ifo said that in car companies this figure was 97 percent.

“There are many orders, but companies can’t produce them right now,” said Ifo economist Klaus Wohlrabe. As a result, more companies are now planning to raise prices, Ifo said.

Economists expect German flash inflation figures on Thursday to show consumer prices rise, to make it comparable with inflation data from other European Union countries (HICP), sharply to 4.0% in September, to 4.0% in August. by 3.4%, according to Refinitiv data.

Reporting by Maria Sheehan, Editing by Louise Heavens

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