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Global Economy

Experts expect even higher inflation

Because of the war in Ukraine, experts expect consumer prices to rise even more this year. This is the result of an estimate by the ifo Institute: "With the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the cost of gas and oil threatens to rise further and with it many other prices for consumers more likely than a three," says Timo Wollmershäuser, head of ifo economic forecasts.

Oil prices continued to rise in the morning: the price of a barrel of North Sea Brent rose by 2.03 US dollars to 101.11 US dollars. The price of a barrel of the US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) variety increased by $1.78 to $94.60. Commodity prices had already skyrocketed yesterday as investors fear a shortage as a result of the Russian invasion.

Oil and gas prices drive up import prices

Oil and gas prices had already climbed to new highs before. According to the latest calculations by the Federal Statistical Office, energy imports rose by almost 144.4 percent in January. The prices for natural gas were more than four times as high as in January 2021. Crude oil was also significantly more expensive, up 66.8 percent, and mineral products, up 73.2 percent.

"The last time there was a higher year-on-year change was in October 1974 as part of the first oil price crisis," it said. Overall, import prices increased by 26.9 percent compared to the same month last year, as reported by the Federal Statistical Office.

Companies want to pass on increased prices

According to regular surveys by the ifo Institute, companies want to pass these price increases on to end consumers: According to this, around two-thirds of retailers are planning price increases, and the index for grocers even rose to more than 85 points. On average across all sectors, this index rose to a high of 47.1 points. A new high was reached after 46.1 points in January and 44.7 points in December.

DZ Bank chief economist Michael Holstein also expects that the current developments will also affect consumer prices: "The inflation rate will probably continue to rise, at least in the short term, above all due to a further increase in energy bills for consumers."

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