Germany: There’s more than the World Cup

Assuming that you, gentle readers, are not yet entirely absorbed by your preparations for the upcoming month of watching simple games of 22 men runnung after a ball before, well, Gary Lineker will hopefully be proven right again*, here’s some more interesting information about the country that is now officially run from the FIFA headquarter in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Yesterday, the German statistical office published the 2005 microcensus, which includes some interesting numbers that are the result of a partly changed methodology. First of all, as Die Zeit online explains in more detail (in German), the statisticians finally decided to explain to the public that politicians are indeed prone to using numbers only based on political context, not on their factual one.
Continue reading

German Inflation Revised Down

I like this title. I have, I unashamedly admit, lifted it straight from NTC research (where it was in any event hardly the most creatively original of headers). I like it since it seems to run counter in spirit to all those admonishing lectures we are currently getting about the dangers of ‘secondary inflation’ and pass-through. The headline refers to the fact that Germany’s EU-harmonised annual inflation rate (HICP) for September was revised down to 2.6 percent from an initial 2.7 percent, the Federal Statistics Office announced on Wednesday. Actually this revision is something of a statistical freak as the reading in question was the harmonised consumer price index for Germany, which is calculated for European purposes. In fact AP runs a different headline: German Inflation Rate Climbs in September, which doesn’t really prove that there are lies, damn lies and statistics, but rather that we have a labyrinth of statistical indices at work – AP quote the straight national CPI, and not the harmonised index. Anyway, if you can battle your way through all this, well good luck to you!

Much more to the point, however, is the detail that , not considering heating oil and motor fuel, the rate of price increase would have been just 1.6%. Inflation scare? Where? Oh yes, I forgot, in Spain and Greece.

As reported by the Federal Statistical Office, the consumer price index for Germany rose by 2.5% in September 2005 on September 2004, and by 0.4% on August 2005. That is the highest year-on-year rate of increase for more than four years (May 2001: +2.7%). In July and August 2005, the year-on-year rates of change were +2.0% and +1.9%, respectively. The estimate for September 2005 based on the results from six Länder was thus confirmed.

The year-on-year rate of price increase was strongly influenced by the sustained price increase for energy in September 2005. In that month, price increases were recorded primarily for mineral oil products again. Not considering heating oil and motor fuel, the rate of price increase would have been just 1.6%. Domestic fuel prices were up 40.0% compared with the same month a year earlier.
Source: German Federal Statistical Office