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Dow Jones Newswires: Germany’s inflation hits highest level in more than 40 years

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Germany’s annual rate of inflation rose in March at a faster pace than in February, beating forecasts and posting the highest reading since the autumn of 1981, according to preliminary data released by German statistics office Destatis on Wednesday.

Consumer prices rose 7.3% on year measured by national standards, beating the 6.2% forecast by economists in a Wall Street Journal poll. They rose 7.6% on year by European Union-harmonized standards, above economists’ forecast of 6.7%.

“Since Russia’s attack on Ukraine, the prices of natural gas and mineral oil products have markedly increased again and have had a considerable impact on the high rate of inflation,” Destatis said.

A similarly high inflation rate in Germany was last recorded in 1981, when mineral oil prices had sharply increased as a consequence of the first Gulf war, the German statistics office said.

Other factors pushing inflation upward include delivery bottlenecks due to the pandemic and significant price increases in energy as the economic recovery got underway, the statistics office said.

Consumer prices rose 2.5% on month by both national standards and EU-harmonized standards. Economists polled by the Journal expected prices to rise 1.6% on month by national standards and 1.7% by EU-harmonized standards.

Final results will be released on April 12.

Write to Maria Martinez at maria.martinez@wsj.com

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