Special Report: Global Financial Crisis
BERLIN, April 15 (Xinhua) -- Wholesale prices in Germany dropped 8.0
percent in March compared with the same month last year, the biggest
year-on-year decline since January 1987, the German Federal Statistical Office
Compared to February, however, wholesale prices declined 0.9 percent, said
the Wiesbaden-based statistics office.
Crude oil prices have retreated 66 percent from a record 147 U.S. dollars
per barrel in July 2008. As a result, solid fuels and petroleum products were
21.4 percent cheaper in March than a year earlier, the statistical office said.
Prices of grain, seeds and feed declined 42.6 percent in the past 12
Statistics show that Germany's inflation has fallen to its lowest level in
almost 10 years, as the global financial crisis has dragged the European Union's
biggest economy into its worst recession since World War II.
European Central Bank (ECB) council member Athanasios Orphanides told local
media a day earlier that the risk of deflation may push further monetary easing.
The ECB has lowered its benchmark interest rate by 3 percentage points
since early October to 1.25 percent.
The German government has announced plans to spend about 80 billion euros
(106 billion U.S. dollars) over two years to support the economy and boost
consumers' spending power.
The measures include investment in schools and roads, lower
health-insurance payments, tax breaks and incentives to buy new cars.