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German 2006 Inflation Up 1.7%, Driven By High Fuel Costs

Germany's inflation was up 1.7% in 2006 over the previous year, largely driven by higher energy prices, the Federal Statistics Office said Wednesday.

The agency, known as Destatis, said that excluding energy prices, the average 2006 inflation would have risen 0.9%. Last year, the cost of heating oil, natural gas and petroleum all rose because of increased demand.

Destatis also confirmed its preliminary December inflation statistics, showing a 0.8% increase from November to December and a 1.4% increase compared to December 2005.

The agency said that seasonal price developments, particularly higher prices for package travel tours and increases in hotel and restaurant costs, were behind the increase.

Consumer prices calculated according to European Union standards rose 1.4% on the year in December and 0.9% on the month, slightly down from the initial estimate of 1.5% and 1% forecast.

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