Inflation in Germany passed the 10 percent mark in October. Consumer prices increased by 10.4 percent compared to the same month last year.

The Federal Statistical Office confirmed an initial estimate on Friday. It was the strongest increase in about 70 years. High energy and food prices have been driving inflation for months. Inflation was 10.0 percent in September.

“The main reasons for the high inflation are still enormous price increases for energy products. But we are also increasingly observing price increases for many other goods and services,” explained Georg Thiel, President of the Federal Statistical Office.

Energy prices rose by 43.0 percent in October compared to the same month last year. The price of natural gas more than doubled by 109.8 percent, and district heating rose by 35.6 percent. The authority explained that the reduced sales tax for natural gas and district heating from the third relief package to 7 percent was overcompensated by the renewed price increases. Consumers had to pay 20.3 percent more for food than a year earlier.

Compared to the previous month, consumer prices rose by a total of 0.9 percent in October.

High inflation rates reduce the purchasing power of consumers, who can afford less for one euro. Inflation rates at the current level have never existed in reunified Germany. In the old federal states, rates of 10 percent and more were measured in the early 1950s, but the calculation method has changed over time.

The federal government wants to cushion the greatest hardships for citizens and the economy with relief packages and a 200 billion euro program including a gas price brake.