German inflation tops three-year high in 2011: data

German inflation tops three-year high in 2011: data

FRANKFURT - Agence France-Presse
German inflation tops three-year high in 2011: data

A sculpture showing the Euro currency sign is seen in front of the European Central Bank (ECB) headquarters in Frankfurt December 8, 2011. REUTERS photo

Inflation in Germany jumped to 2.3 percent for the whole of 2011, its highest level in three years and and above European Central Bank targets, official data showed on Thursday.

Soaring energy prices pushed the consumer price index for the eurozone's largest economy up by an annual average 2.3 percent last year, compared with 1.1 percent in 2010 and 0.4 percent in 2009, the national statistics office Destatis said in a statement.

Excluding energy prices, German inflation would have reached only 1.3 percent last year, the statisticians calculated.

The European Central Bank aims to keep inflation in the 17-nation euro area close to but below 2.0 percent. But inflation in Germany exceeded that level in every month last year, Destatis said.

Nevertheless, inflation has been slowing in the last few months of 2011: it stood at 2.1 percent on a 12-month basis in December alone, down 2.4 percent in November.

Using the EU's Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices or HICP, which is the ECB's inflation yardstick, the cost of living in Germany rose by an annual average 2.5 percent for the whole of 2011.