Germany's annual inflation rate remained below the zero mark in November, kept down by a cut in value-added tax (VAT) and lower energy prices, the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) reported on Monday.
Annual inflation came in at minus 0.3 percent on the year in November, according to the provisional figures. The fall was as much as 0.8 percent compared with October this year.
Destatis recorded annual rates of minus 0.2 percent in September and October and of 0 percent in August. In July consumer prices fell by 0.1 percent. The rate has been driven down by a cut in the VAT rate for half a year from July 1.
Analysts expect inflation to begin rising again next year once the VAT cut has been reversed.
According to the central bank, the VAT cut has benefited consumers in the foodstuffs and industrial sectors, whereas in services only a third of the reduction in prices has been passed on by providers. Hairstylists, for example, recently raised their prices.
The fall in the global price for crude oil led to a decline in prices for heating oil and vehicle fuels, driving overall energy prices down by as much as 7.7 percent on the year in November.
By contrast, food prices rose 1.4 percent on average, and services were up 1.1 percent, caused in part by higher rents.
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