German inflation accelerated more than economists forecast in August on higher energy costs.
The inflation rate, calculated using a harmonized European Union method, rose to 2.2 percent from 1.9 percent in July, the Federal Statistics Office in Wiesbaden said today. That’s the first increase since February. Economists forecast a gain to 2 percent, the median of 22 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey shows. In the month, consumer prices rose 0.3 percent.
Oil prices have surged about 25 percent since the end of June as storms in the Gulf of Mexico crimped output. At the same time, the European Central Bank predicts that euro-area inflation will slow to below its 2 percent limit next year and is easing monetary policy to fight the region’s debt crisis.
“Energy costs in July rose faster than expected, which is the main reason for the higher inflation,” said Heinrich Bayer, an economist at Deutsche Postbank AG in Bonn. “I assume that Germany has seen its low point in inflation for this year. We better get ready for rates of above 2 percent in the months to come.”
Germany’s non-harmonized inflation rate rose to 2 percent in August from 1.7 percent in July, the statistics office said. The main reasons for the increase were higher fuel and heating oil costs, it said.
In Bavaria, heating oil prices gained 2.1 percent from July and were 13.6 percent higher than a year ago, the state’s statistics office said earlier today.
Economists predict euro-area inflation will accelerate to 2.5 percent in August from 2.4 percent in July, according to the median of 31 estimates in a separate Bloomberg survey. Eurostat, the European Union’s statistics office, will publish that report on Aug. 31.
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