Import prices falling in August

According to the Federal Statistical Office, the index for import prices in August 2007 was 0.6% lower than in the same month last year. This marks the first annual decrease since March 2004. The index for export prices was 1.6% higher in August this year than in August 2006 and remained unchanged as compared to July 2007.

In July and June 2007 the annual rates of change for import prices had still stood at +0.4% and +1.3% respectively.

Particularly high in August were price rises for the imports of pig iron, steel and ferro-alloys (+12.4%). In the food industry prices rose in particular for the import of cereals (+55.1%), milk and dairy products (+14.9%) and raw cocoa (+7.3%) while price for meat imports decreased by 0.6% as compared to last year. Also cheaper than in 2006 were imports of data processing devices and equipment (-29.0%) as well as electronic components (-5.2%).

For the first time since February 2007 energy prices fell in August 2007 and were 3.3% lower as compared to July 2007. Prices for crude oil fell by 5.6% in August this year as compared to the previous month. Prices for natural gas, on the other hand, rose for the first time since November 2006 (+2.8%). GERMAN