German inflation rises in January

German consumer prices rose 2.8 percent in January on a 12-month comparison, driven by increases in the food and energy sectors, but fell 0.4 percent from December, official data showed on Friday.

Compared with last January, fuel prices soared 13.1 percent, electricity prices rose 7.4 percent and consumers paid 7.7 percent more for their food, the figures from Germany’s Federal Statistics Office showed.

The price rise was at its sharpest for milk products and eggs, with shoppers having to shell out 22.1 percent more cash, the statistics office said. But compared with December prices fell 0.4 percent, a drop explained by cheaper holidays and hotels as operators relaxed their prices after the Christmas period, it said.

Preliminary indications given earlier by the statistics office had been for prices to have risen 2.7 percent year-on-year in January and to have fallen 0.3 percent from December.

Rising prices for basic staples like food, electricity and fuel has caused worries among economists that consumers in Europe’s biggest economy would cut down on spending.

Stubbornly high inflation across the eurozone has also been a concern for the European Central Bank, causing it to refrain from following the US Federal Reserve and cutting interest rates to stimulate the economy. The ECB has set an upper target ceiling for eurozone inflation of 2.0 percent.