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Prime costs down by 0.5 percent in March

The prime cost index for industrial goods was down by 0.5% as compared to March 2008 which is the most significant change since September 2002. In comparison with February 2009, the index fell by 0.7%. This reduction is mainly due to the development in prices for intermediate inputs for which prices fell by 3.9% as compared to March last year and by 0.9% as compared to February this year.

Non-ferrous metals and semi-finished products thereof were 25.3% less expensive in March this year than last year (+0.8% as compared to February), prices for rolled steel were down by 15.1% (-8.1%). Prices for fodder were down by 19.9% and 2.3% respectively. For fertilizer the respective price changes were +33.4% and +0.7%.
With regard to consumer goods prices fell on average by 1.4% (-0.2% as compared to February 2009). Foodstuffs were 3.5% less expensive (-0.4%). Particularly strong was the drop in prices for milk and dairy products (-14.6% and -1.3% respectively).

The annual price increase for fixed assets amounted to +1.5% in March 2009 (±0% as compared to February).

Prices for energy increased by 2.0 % (-1.4 %). Without taking into account energy, prime costs were down by 1.4% in March as compared to March last year and by 0.5% as compared to February this year.

The price changes for mineral oil products were -25.3 % and -2.1 % respectively and +30.0% and -1.2% for natural gas. GERMAN