Producer and consumer prices
The continuous observation and analysis of price stability is based on surveys of prices. Particular attention is paid to the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP) and the national Consumer Price Index (CPI) calculated by the Federal Statistical Office. Both indicators are used as measures of general consumer price movements. Their annual percentage change is commonly referred to as the inflation rate.
The producer price index for industrial products measures the average change in the prices of raw materials and industrial products produced in Germany and sold within the country.
Seasonally and calendar-adjusted time series as well as just calendar-adjusted time series – depending on the indicator – are provided in addition to the unadjusted figures. Real-time data are available for selected indicators.
Long time series for consumer price indices form the basis for purchasing power comparisons. These are used to determine what historical amounts of money would be worth today.
Harmonised consumer prices
Consumer price indices measure the average price change of all goods and services that are bought by households for consumption purposes. The Harmonised Indices of Consumer Prices are calculated monthly for each EU Member State using harmonised approaches and methods. The Federal Statistical Office calculates the figures for Germany.
The HICP for Germany and for the other euro area countries are included in the calculation of the HICP for the euro area, which is published by Eurostat.
National consumer prices
In addition to the HICP, the Federal Statistical Office calculates the national Consumer Price Index (CPI). Unlike the HICP, it also includes prices for owner-occupied housing (following the rental equivalence approach), gambling as well as motor vehicle tax and registration fees. The CPI serves, inter alia, to deflate economic variables, as a measure of inflation and as the basis for payment adjustments in contracts governed by private law. Linked to consumer price indices going far back into the past for Germany, the CPI is available as a long time series for historical purchasing power comparison calculations.
Producer prices of industrial goods
The producer price index for industrial products calculated each month by the Federal Statistical Office measures the average change in the prices of raw materials and industrial products produced by domestic enterprises and sold in Germany. The producers of these goods belong to the following economic sectors: mining and quarrying, manufacturing, energy and water supply.
Purchasing power comparisons of historical monetary amounts
Long price index time series are often used to determine what historical amounts of money and currencies would be worth today. The calculated purchasing power equivalents can provide information on the present-day value of goods and services that could be obtained for a certain sum of money in former times. Click on the internal link “Purchasing power comparisons of historical monetary amounts” below for further information and illustrative calculations.