A lot has changed in the everyday life of German citizens in the past ten months. The prices in the supermarket, in the restaurant and also the overall cost of living have risen sharply. FOCUS online says where prices will fall in the foreseeable future and where you can expect further price increases.
The cost of food, services, and living costs are rising and rising. Last year, people in Germany experienced the strongest price shock since the founding of the Federal Republic, official figures from the Federal Statistical Office confirm. While many households are tightening their belts, further price increases are on the horizon. But the expensive spring does not threaten everywhere.
FOCUS online says where the prices are now fluctuating.
At the beginning of the year, consumers are confronted with rising prices. In the supermarket in particular, the prices for around 200 products rose in the first few weeks of January (FOCUS online reported). And the situation could get worse.
Lionel Souque, head of the supermarket giant Rewe, said in an interview that the company had price increases of over one billion euros on the table for 2023.
The supermarket chain Edeka also warns of an expensive spring. According to CEO Markus Mosa, the additional price demands from suppliers for 2023 amounted to 1.2 billion euros in January. However, this sum only includes half of the brand manufacturers, and many more demands would follow.
Apparently, Aldi Süd, Aldi Nord and Lidl also have higher price expectations from well-known brand manufacturers. The largest discounters in the country are currently reorganizing the range, relying more on own brands and even removing popular brands from the standard range. At the end of the year it became known that Aldi Süd was separating from Danone products, while Lidl in turn removed brands from giant Henkel from its range.
Customers must be prepared for further price increases.
One indication of this is the current condition negotiations, which FOCUS has been reporting on online for months. Industry and trade discuss in several rounds how much the prices should change in the next six months. One possible outcome of the talks could be that prices in supermarkets will continue to rise gradually and moderately. Dealers could get more leeway with special offers. Brochures, newsletters and customer cards are therefore becoming increasingly important for customers.
Farmers’ president Joachim Rukwied also does not expect the currently high food prices to fall again in 2023. “I don’t see any sign of relaxation in the short term,” he said in an interview. Producing food is “still very expensive”. “So I don’t expect supermarket food prices to go down this year,” added Rukwied.
Consumers must therefore be prepared for further price shocks in supermarkets, discounters or drugstores.
energy, electricity and gas
Consumers groan under the increased energy prices. But there are signs of the all-clear. At the beginning of the year, electricity and gas prices are subject to considerable fluctuations on the trading platforms. The price of electricity on the Leipzig stock exchange has recently fallen sharply – in some cases even to pre-war levels.
A similar trend can be seen in European gas prices (TTF). They are now 5.5 cents per kilowatt hour, so the wholesale price fell to its lowest level since September 2021.
However, end consumers can currently only benefit to a limited extent from electricity and gas. Experts expect that energy suppliers will only be able to increasingly pass on the positive development on the trading venues to consumers from Easter onwards.
The trend is falling.
Consumers have to pay an average of 47.7 cents per kilowatt hour for new electricity contracts in Germany in the basic supply. In the cheapest electricity tariff outside of the basic supply, the costs are 43 cents per kilowatt hour. For comparison: In mid-October, a kilowatt hour still cost 56 cents per kilowatt hour for new customers nationwide on average.
“Just a few weeks ago, it was the case in almost all of Germany that the basic supply tariffs were the cheapest tariffs on the market. This has now changed again due to the numerous price increases by the basic suppliers,” emphasizes the electricity information comparison portal.
FOCUS online advises: compare prices and switch tariffs, it’s worth it again.
Households will also be relieved from March 1st. A price brake for gas, electricity and district heating comes into effect. It will then apply retrospectively to January 1, 2023 and will set an upper limit on the energy price for gas, electricity and district heating. A base price of 40 cents (electricity), 12 cents (gas) and 9.5 cents (district heating) will then be due per kilowatt hour by April 2024. The base price applies to 80 percent of the consumption from the previous year.
Heating oil, petrol and diesel
Heating oil prices are at an 11-month low in January. If you stock up on heating oil now, you can save a lot of money. The industry service Tecson reports that the price of heating oil recently fell to 117.3 euros per 100 liters in the national average. At the end of December 2022, the price was 128.1 euros and in March 2022 it was even 204.5 euros.
Fuel prices are also falling again. Gasoline and diesel had recently become cheaper again at the pumps, according to an analysis by the ADAC. On average across Germany, premium petrol cost 1.71 euros per liter in the previous week. That was 3.6 cents less than a week earlier. Diesel was €1.81 per litre, down 3.9 cents.
However, experts expect significant price increases for petrol, diesel and heating oil in February. Then the ban on Russian crude oil imports in the EU area will be extended. From February 5, it will also apply to refined fuels such as diesel and gas oil. This could affect trade flows and increase import costs.