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Which products are getting more expensive in Germany?

Along with increasing energy costs, rising food prices are currently one of the biggest drivers of inflation in Germany. Some foodstuffs are set to increase in price even more, however a few items have got less expensive compared to last year.

Which products are getting more expensive in Germany?
ARCHIV - Gummibärchen fallen am 17.07.2012 in der Haribo-Fabrik in Bonn von einem Förderband. Foto: Caroline Seidel/dpa (zu dpa "Haribo verlegt Firmenzentrale von Bonn nach Rheinland-Pfalz" vom 02.07.2014) +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

Shoppers in Germany have been feeling the pinch of higher grocery prices for some time now, but experts are warning that the worst could still be yet to come.

Stefan Benett, Managing Director of Inverto, a purchasing consultancy for companies, recently told the Handelsblatt newspaper: “There are high costs in the supply chains that have not yet arrived in consumer prices.”

Meanwhile, a report by the Federal Statistical Office released on Wednesday showed a breakdown of prices compared with those last year which showed just how much some products have increased in price.

READ ALSO: German consumers warned to expect higher food prices

Here’s a look at what has gone up and which products are likely to get more expensive.

Milk and animal products

The report by the Federal Statistical Office showed that the price of milk has gone up significantly since July last year – with a price increase of 51.7 percent. 

Groceries in a shopping cart at a food market in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Jens Büttner

High energy and grain costs have driven up prices for most animal products, as farmers themselves had to pay 29 percent more to slaughter animals. Prices for poultry, for example, have risen 37.7 percent in the last year.

Cheaper fruit and vegetables

It’s not all bad news. Prices for fruit and vegetables have dropped slightly since last year. Prices for fruit in July 2022 were 6.3 percent lower than a year ago and vegetable prices 2.3 percent lower than in July 2021.

The drop in the price of dessert apples was particularly striking, with a drop of 17.1 percent, while the price of cauliflower fell by 24.3 percent and tomatoes by 29 percent.

What’s likely to go up?

Consumers will also have to prepare to pay more to indulge their sweet tooth in future, as prices for confectionery and sweet drinks will go up.

Soft drink manufacturers Coca-Cola have already announced price increases, while Milka manufacturers Mondelez and Haribo also recently announced that their products will become more expensive.

Bottles of Coca-Cola- Photo: picture alliance / Karl-Josef Hildenbrand/dpa | Karl-Josef Hildenbrand

Consumers are also facing further price increases this year for detergents, deodorants and shower creams.

Nivea manufacturer Beiersdorf already passed on its increased costs to the consumers at the beginning of the year and is currently in negotiations with retailers regarding further price increases. 

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MONEY

Wohngeld: How people in Germany can get help with rising living costs

Many households in Germany could be eligible for increased financial support with their rents and bills from next year. We break down who should apply and how much help they could receive.

Wohngeld: How people in Germany can get help with rising living costs

The cost of living is rising across the board, and nowhere is this being felt more than in the home. For over a year, gas and electricity bills have been soaring and people on low incomes have been left wondering how to make ends meet.

While there is support available for people in this situation, it seems that many households in Germany aren’t aware that they could be eligible to apply for Wohngeld, or housing allowance, to help them with their expenses. What’s more, the amount of money people can get is set to rise at the start of next year.

Here’s what you need to know.

What exactly is Wohngeld?

Wohngeld, or housing allowance, is a form of financial aid for low-income households in Germany. It’s intended to help with the general costs associated with housing, such as monthly rents and utility bills.

Even people who own their own homes are able to get support with their mortgage repayments and building management costs (known as Hausgeld). However, they do have to fulfil certain criteria, like earning under a certain amount per month.

Unlike long-term unemployment benefit, which also includes a stipend for rent and bills, Wohngeld is intended for people who don’t rely on any other form of state support. That could include single parents or people with minimum wage jobs who spend a large proportion of their income on rent.

It means that people on jobseekers’ allowance and students with state loans and grants aren’t able to apply for Wohngeld. 

READ ALSO:

How much money can people receive?

That depends on a range of factors such as where you live, how high your rent is and how much money you earn this month. However, one thing that’s clear is that Wohngeld is likely to rise significantly at the start of next year.

On Wednesday, cabinet ministers voted through proposals from Housing Minister Klara Geywitz (SPD) to hike the monthly allowance by around €190 on average. That means that instead of receiving €177 per month, the average household on Wohngeld will receive around €370 per month starting in January. 

It’s worth noting that Geywitz’s reforms still need to clear a vote in the Bundestag, but with the governing coalition of the SPD, Greens and FDP behind the move, it’s likely that they will. 

The Housing Ministry has also put together an online tool that can calculate the amount of Wohngeld each household is entitled to. At the moment, this still calculates the allowance based on the current rates – but it will be updated if the reforms are passed by parliament. 

Who’s eligible for Wohngeld?

That depends on a complex calculation based on factors such as income, the number of people in a household, the size and location of the property and how high monthly housing expenses are. There’s no straightforward income threshold that people can refer to, which could explain why thousands of households who could potentially get Wohngeld never apply for it.

The best way to check if you’re currently eligible is to use the government’s Wohngeld calculator tool. But as we mentioned above, this is still based on the current criteria and monthly rates. 

As well as hiking the monthly allowance, Geywitz also wants to expand the criteria so more households are eligible for Wohngeld.

At the moment, around 600,000 households in Germany receive Wohngeld. This could increase by 1.4 million to two million under Geywitz’s plans. From next year, people earning minimum wage and people on low pensions are set to be among those who are able to apply. 

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: When should I turn on my heating in Germany this year?

Sound good – where do I sign up?

In general, the states and municipalities are responsible for handling Wohngeld applications. That means you should apply at the local Wohngeldamt (housing allowance office), Wohnungsamt (housing office) or Bürgeramt (citizens’ office) in your district or city. 

If you’re unsure where to go, searching for ‘Wohngeld beantragen’ (apply for housing allowance) and the name of your city or area should pull up some search results that can guide you further. 

Apartment blocks in Berlin Marzahn.

Apartment blocks in Berlin Marzahn. Photo: picture alliance / Matthias Balk/dpa | Matthias Balk

Alongside an application form, you’ll likely have to submit a tenancy agreement, ID, information on your residence rights and proof of any income or state support you already receive. Other members of your household may also have to submit similar financial information. 

You should also be registered at the address you’re applying for Wohngeld for. 

READ ALSO: Germany to spend €200 billion to cap soaring energy costs

Are there any other changes to Wohngeld I should know about?

Anyone already on Wohngeld, or who receives it between September and December this year, is also entitled to a special heating allowance to help with winter energy costs. This is also set to be given to students and trainees receiving a BAföG loan or grant.

For students and trainees, the heating allowance is set at €345 per person. Meanwhile, the amount given to Wohngeld recipients will vary on the size of the household.

Single-person households will receive €415, two-person households will get €540 and there will be an additional €100 per person for larger households. 

This is likely to paid out in January. 

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