European Consumer Basket Inflation Visibly Higher than the Official Figures
February 22, 2013 • 12:34PM

In Germany, there is a lot of official propaganda these days that the inflation rate for January, at 1.7%, is below the EU and ECB target level of 2.0%. Things look fairly different, though, if one looks at the everyday goods that are put into the consumer basket, which is really relevant for 80% or more of the population, because it absorbs a considerable share of their relatively low income. The situation is even worse for those who have no regular job or are dependent on welfare.

Food-price inflation was at 4.5% for January (against January 2012) already, and even higher for key food items: fish +5.1%; meat (+6.4%), fruits (+7.9%) and vegetables (+8.6%). A similar picture for energy costs, which rose by an average official 3.9%: electricity is up 12.1% alone.

By comparison with Germany, the situation is openly disastrous in the "problem countries" of Southern Europe, where living standards have been crushed under the euro rescue regime, while the majority of citizens there are faced with consumer basket inflation rates two or three times those of Germany.