Gas prices for German households surged 18 percent in the first six months of this year compared to the second half of 2021, the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) said on Monday.
High prices on energy exchanges are now having a “greater impact” on private households, Destatis noted.
Due to long-term contracts for consumers, energy prices for households were not rising as fast as for German businesses and the public sector, whose gas bills soared 39 percent compared to the second half last year, Destatis said.
Overall energy prices in Europe’s largest economy continued to have a “substantial impact on the inflation rate,” Destatis said. In October, inflation climbed to 10.4 percent, the highest to date for reunified Germany, according to preliminary figures.
To cushion the impact of inflation on consumers and companies, the German government agreed on three relief packages totaling 95 billion euros (94 billion U.S. dollars). In addition, a “protective umbrella” of up to 200 billion euros was just approved to cap electricity and gas prices.
Cutting the value-added tax (VAT) on natural gas from 19 percent to 7 percent was already likely to have a “downward effect on the inflation rate,” Destatis said.
Politicians and business representatives are meeting at the Chancellor’s Office on Monday to discuss ways to counter the rise in energy prices and the high cost of living, and a group of experts are expected to present their final report on the planned gas price cap after the meeting.