German May import prices at near 10-year high: statistics

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German import prices showed the sharpest 12-month increase since November 2000 last month, leaping by 8.5 percent from May 2009, official data released on Friday showed.

On a monthly basis, the cost of imports gained 0.6 percent, the Destatis office said, as a drop in the value of the euro raised the cost of imported goods.

German activity has also picked up from its worst recession since World War II, and while it might taper off later this year, Commerzbank chief economist Joerg Kraemer warned that consumer prices could also start to climb.

"Higher inflation remains the greater risk" than deflation caused by a sharp drop in economic activity owing to the global financial and economic crisis, he said.

When the cost of crude oil and mineral oil products was stripped out of the calculation, import prices were 5.5 percent higher than in May 2009, and 1.2 percent higher than in April.

© 2010 AFP

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