Not only gasoline, heating and food are becoming significantly more expensive in Germany, but also school attendance: In July, parents had to spend significantly more on school supplies than last year. Exercise books and drawing pads cost an average of 13.6 percent more, according to the Federal Statistical Office. Prices thus rose even more significantly than the overall cost of living, which increased by 7.5 percent in the same period. "Reasons for the high price increase for exercise books and drawing pads are likely to include the ongoing paper shortage and increasing costs in paper production," the statisticians said.
Nevertheless, the surcharge for other school materials was lower. For example, parents had to pay 5.2 percent more for pens and ink trays as well as for fountain pens and fountain pen cartridges than in July 2021. School satchels increased in price by 4.7 percent.
German consumers have been groaning under rising prices for months. The cost of living rose by 7.5 percent in July and 7.6 percent in June, after expensive energy drove inflation to its highest level in almost 50 years at 7.9 percent in May. The government fuel rebate and the nine-euro local transport ticket recently provided some relief, but economists believe double-digit inflation rates are possible in the fall due to sharply rising gas prices and the new gas levy.
Low-income families in particular are suffering from high inflation. While baskets of goods for German households as a whole became 7.5 percent more expensive in July compared with the same month last year, low-income families had to pay as much as 8.4 percent more for their typical purchases. This is the conclusion of the Macroeconomic Policy Institute (IMK) of the Hans Böckler Foundation, which is close to the trade unions. According to the study, singles with high incomes were least affected by the price increases. Their cost of living increased by 6.4 percent.
According to the IMK, the fact that low-income households are particularly hard hit by inflation is due to the fact that the biggest price drivers at present - household energy and food - play a particularly large role in their spending. The IMK economic experts warned: "If inflation receives an additional boost in the near future because the 9-euro ticket and fuel rebate expire and the gas levy is introduced, the social gap in burdens is likely to widen even further." Additional price increases for household energy would have a particularly strong impact on households with lower incomes.