According to the German Retail Association (HDE), consumers should prepare for another wave of price hikes for everyday goods and groceries.
Even before the outbreak of war in Ukraine, prices had risen by about five per cent “across the product range” as a result of increased energy prices, HDE President Josef Sanktjohanser told the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung on Friday.
With Russia’s invasion hitting economies and the supply chain harder, yet another series of price increases is on the horizon.
“The second wave of price increases is coming, and it will certainly be in double figures,” Sanktjohanser warned.
According to the president of the trade association, the first retail chains have already started to raise their prices in Germany – and the rest are likely to follow.
“We will soon be able to see the impact of the war reflected in price labels across all the supermarkets,” said Sanktjohanser.
Recently, popular retail chains such as Aldi, Edeka and Globus announced that they would be forced to raise their prices.
At Aldi, meat and butter will be “significantly more expensive” from Monday due to price hikes from its suppliers.
“Since the start of the Ukraine war, there have been jumps in purchase prices that we have not experienced before,” a spokesperson for Aldi Nord announced on Friday.
A fortnight ago, Aldi raised the prices of about 160 items, and a week later 20 more items became more expensive. Other supermarket brands quickly followed suit.
In February, Germany’s cost of living rose at the highest level since reunification, with everyday goods increasing by an average of 7.3 percent.
The federal statistics agency Destatis said the jump from January’s figure of 5.1 percent to February’s 7.3 percent reflected the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has sent the price of oil and gas soaring.
According to a recently published survey by the Ifo Institute, almost all companies in Germany’s food retail sector are planning price increases.
No food shortages on the horizon
Though price increases are a worry for Germany’s hard-hit consumers, industry experts don’t expect there to be a lack of products on the shelves anytime soon.
According to Joachim Rukwied, president of the farming association, the food supply in Germany is assured for at least another year – though after this the forecasts are less certain.
With rumours of shortages swirling around, however, supermarket owners have been complaining of the sort of panic-buying not seen since the first months of pandemic.
As The Local has been reporting, supermarkets have even started limiting the purchase of cooking oils and flour in particular to prevent a mad rush to stock up on items that customers believe will run out.