German producer prices jump by 5.2 percent in April

German producer prices jump by 5.2 percent in April
Energy prices are driving the increase. Photo: DPA
German prices at the factory gate jumped by 5.2 percent in April, the biggest 12-month increase since August 2006, figures from the national statistics office showed on Tuesday.

Producer prices in the biggest European economy gained 1.1 percent from their level in March, the Destatis office said.

As is regularly the case, energy prices were largely responsible for the increases, and the annual rate of increase fell back to 2.7 percent once such elements were excluded, it added.

Persistently high inflation in the 15-member euro zone has led the European Central Bank to maintain its main lending rate at 4.0 percent even as the US Federal Reserve and Bank of England lowered their rates to underpin economic activity.

A breakdown of the German data showed that energy prices jumped by 12.6 percent overall in April, a sharp increase from the February and March rates of 7.0 and 8.2 percent, respectively.

Heating oil prices leapt by 54.6 percent, while the cost of diesel fuel gained 19.5 percent and petrol (gasoline) was up by 5.7 percent.

The prices of animal feed and fertilizer soared by 59.9 percent, while animal and vegetable oils and fats posted an increase of 44.8 percent, Destatis said.

Sharp increases in the prices of food and raw materials have sparked unrest in countries around the world, while soaring energy costs have curbed global economic growth.

In one of the latest reactions, French fishermen protesting high fuel costs have blocked ports and multiplied their demands for government compensation.