Germany's Inflation Rate Drops Sharply in May, As Expected

Inflation in Germany eased sharply in May, a development that is likely to bolster expectations that the European Central Bank won't rush to unwind its stimulus program.

Germany's annual inflation rate, measured by harmonized European Union standards, fell to 1.4% from 2.0% in April, the Destatis statistics office said Wednesday, confirming a preliminary estimate from May 30.

A decline had been widely expected, after the late-timing of Easter in 2017 compared with 2016--and related price rises in the services sector--pushed up inflation in April.

As a consequence, inflation in Europe's largest economy is well under the ECB's target for the eurozone of "below, but close to" 2%.

Energy prices in Germany increased 2.0% from May last year, while food prices rose 2.4%.

Excluding energy prices, which can be volatile, consumer prices in Europe's largest economy were unchanged on the month, but rose 1.4% on the year.

Write to Nina Adam at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 14, 2017 02:25 ET (06:25 GMT)