In the corona crisis, consumers often have to dig deeper. Fresh vegetables, pork or coffee, for example, are often significantly more expensive than before the pandemic broke out. This is ensured, among other things, by travel and export restrictions for goods or harvest helpers. Nevertheless, inflation is falling in Germany and Europe – and rapidly.
In January 2020, the inflation rate in the European Union was still 1.7 percent. In March, the value dropped to 1.2 percent. In April, the first full month since government protection measures were imposed, the trend continues despite the crisis. The statistics agency Eurostat reported an inflation rate of only 0.7 percent for the month. That was 1.2 percentage points less than in April 2019. In the euro area, inflation was only 0.3 percent.
Inflation drops in the Corona crisis
In Germany, the inflation rate in April 2020 was 0.9 percent (March: 1.4 percent) according to the Federal Statistical Office. One product group in particular ensured this development in consumer prices. In other areas, the full stock due to the pandemic and slump in sales mean that providers want to boost consumer spending with strong discounts.
These products became cheaper during the Corona crisis
# 1 gas, heating oil, petrol, diesel
The global drop in oil prices is primarily responsible for the falling inflation rate. In April 2020, energy was almost a tenth (minus 9.7 percent) cheaper in the euro area than in the same month of the previous year. In April 2019, however, the statisticians had registered an increase of 5.3 percent. The biggest drop in consumer prices in Germany was for liquefied gas. In April it was 18.6 percent cheaper than in the same month last year, as the Federal Statistical Office announced. In second place was heating oil with a decrease of 17.3 percent. Refueling was also significantly cheaper. Petrol and diesel saw a decline of 16.5 and 13.3 percent, respectively.
# 2 new cars
Anyone who currently needs a new car despite the uncertain economic situation has good cards. Media reported discounts of up to a third. “The dealers’ yards are full: After six weeks of lockdown, there are endless new cars – now the factories are producing again, which is further depressing prices,” reported “Auto Bild”.
# 3 butter
Durable, locally produced food that is less affected by corona measures has often become cheaper during the pandemic. This also applies to butter. According to the Federal Statistical Office, it cost an average of 7.8 percent less in April than in the same month of the previous year.
# 4 potatoes
The farmers’ potato cellars are obviously well filled. The Federal Statistical Office reported a price drop of minus 7.2 percent for potatoes in all forms (fresh, chilled, processed). For fresh potatoes, the minus was even 12.1 percent, as the agricultural market information service AMI announced.
# 5 childcare
Home care services became 6.9 percent more expensive in April. The so-called elementary sector services, on the other hand, fell by 9.9 percent. The Federal Statistical Office summarizes fees for the care of small children in crèches, daycare centers or kindergartens. A spokeswoman for the authority said that these costs have decreased in recent years, for example by eliminating daycare fees. But that is very different regionally.
# 6 computer
If you need a new laptop for your home office, you will probably spend less than a year ago. Computer consumer prices fell 5.6 percent in April. This continues the trend of the past few years. In the meantime there have been increases, for example due to changes in exchange rates or import prices, said the expert from the Federal Statistical Office. However, the price trend for technical products tends to decline. The same applies to mobile phones without a contract and without a SIM card. Most recently, they were 7.1 percent cheaper than in April 2019.
# 7 train tickets
At the moment, there are far fewer people traveling by train. Whoever does it pays an average of a tenth less than a year ago. Passenger transport by rail has become 10.5 percent cheaper. The lower VAT rate at Deutsche Bahn has been noticeable here since the beginning of the year.
# 8 cocoa
Coffee and rice have become more expensive in the corona crisis due to transport and export restrictions. In contrast, prices for cocoa fall. The suppliers still had large stocks in warehouses and on ships, the “Lebensmittelzeitung” reported in mid-April. Should the pandemic continue, however, the harvest in the countries of origin could be at risk in autumn.