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Gas prices in Germany down 6.9 pct in H2 2023

 Gas and electricity prices for private households in Germany fell by 6.9 and 1.3 percent, respectively, in the second half of 2023, compared to the first half, the country’s Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) reported Thursday.

Despite the decline, energy prices in Europe’s largest economy “remain high,” according to Destatis. Compared to the second half of 2021, before the start of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, electricity prices were 27 percent higher in the second half of last year, with prices for household-used gas up by more than two-thirds.

Comparison company Verivox has warned that consumers will face new price increases starting in April. The value-added tax on gas, previously reduced as a relief measure, will return to the standard rate of 19 percent. Verivox said this would “suddenly increase” prices by 11 percent.

Destatis data shows that after peaking at over 10 percent at the end of 2022, driven by energy prices, inflation in Germany eased back to 2.5 percent in February.

The temporary tax reduction was crucial in easing the consumer burden during the energy crisis. “It was time to let it expire due to falling prices,” said Kerstin Andreae, managing director of the German Association of Energy and Water Industries. ■

Famagusta Gazette