German inflation tips into negative territory: data

12th February 2015, Comments 0 comments

Inflation in Germany, Europe's biggest economy, dipped into negative territory in January for the first time in five years, largely due to lower energy prices, data showed on Thursday.

The annual rate of inflation in Germany stood at -0.4 percent last month, the federal statistics office, Destatis, calculated in final data.

That was fractionally lower than a provisional estimate of -0.3 percent released at the end of January.

In December, it had been in positive territory at 0.2 percent.

The last time German inflation had dropped into negative territory was in September 2009.

Using the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP) -- the yardstick used by the European Central Bank -- inflation in Germany was even lower at -0.5 percent year-on-year, way under the ECB's annual inflation target of just below 2.0 percent.

Last month, the ECB unveiled a massive trillion-euro bond purchase programme to ward off deflation and end stagnation in the eurozone economy.

© 2015 AFP

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