Berlin (Reuters) – There are signs of relaxation for German consumers who are plagued by inflation: significantly fewer companies want to raise their prices in the coming months.

    The corresponding barometer for their price expectations fell to 40.3 points for the economy as a whole in December, from 46.2 in November, as the Munich Ifo Institute announced on Tuesday in its survey of thousands of companies. “As a result, the rise in producer and consumer prices should gradually slow down in the coming months,” says Timo Wollmershäuser, head of Ifo economic forecasts. “However, inflation rates will remain high.” The Ifo experts are expecting an average inflation rate of 6.4 percent this year, after having been 7.9 percent in 2022, the highest since the Federal Republic came into existence. In 2024, it should then fall to 2.8 percent.

    Price expectations are falling the most in manufacturing and construction: Here the barometer fell from 53.5 to 42.0 points and from 38.4 to 28.3. The points indicate what percentage of the companies want to increase their prices on balance. But also in retail and service providers, companies are less likely to ask more money from their customers. “The strongest price increases are planned in the food retail sector,” it said. Expectations there fell to 83.7 after 94.7 points in November. They also fell noticeably in drugstores and in the toy trade.

    But there are also sectors where the barometer is pointing in the other direction. In gastronomy, for example, more companies are planning price increases (63.4 after 57.1). This also applies to the retail trade in clothing, home textiles and carpets (70.6 after 48.2). Only the paper industry is currently assuming price reductions, according to the Munich researchers.

    (Report by Rene Wagner, edited by Christian Rüttger – If you have any questions, please contact our editorial team at [email protected])