Germany's national inflation yardstick, the consumer price index
Berlin - AFP
Consumer prices stagnated in Germany in February, official data showed Friday, with plunging energy prices dragging inflation down.
Germany's national inflation yardstick, the consumer price index, stood at zero percent in February compared to 0.5 percent in January, the federal statistics office Destatis said, confirming a flash estimate issued earlier this month.
Pointing to a slide in energy prices which reached a 8.5-percent drop year on year for February, Destatis said inflation would have been in positive territory if not for the slump in the oil sector.
Because of its economic weight in Europe, Germany's consumer price trends are closely watched, especially at a time when the European Central Bank is pouring billions of euros into battling chronically low inflation in the eurozone.
The latest data came a day after the ECB fired off a volley of shots to avert deflation -- including slashing already record-low interest rates, announcing that massive new sums would be pumped into the banking system and, for the first time, saying it would begin buying corporate bonds.