Half the population can no longer afford their former lifestyles

Nearly half of German citizens cannot maintain their former lifestyles amid record high inflation, Bloomberg reported on Friday, citing a survey conducted for public broadcaster ARD.

Poll data shows that some 47% said they were strongly cutting back on spending. Among low-income Germans, the proportion of citizens who were forced to tighten their belts was almost 75%. The survey was conducted among 1,337 Germans between May 30 and June 1.

As reported by the Federal Statistical Bureau of Germany, inflation in Europe’s top economy reached a historic high of 8.7% in May, propelled by the costs of energy and food. In order to stabilize the situation, Berlin has come up with a number of measures, including a temporary reduction on fuel taxes and the cost of public transport tickets, but the initiatives have not yet eased the public’s concerns.

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German inflation nears 50-year high

According to the ARD survey, Germans consider the fight against inflation a more urgent task facing the government than the fight against climate change and social inequality. The only bigger problem, according to those polled, is Russia’s military operation in Ukraine, which is partially responsible for the price hike, as the conflict itself, along with the EU’s anti-Russia sanctions and Moscow’s countermeasures, are jeopardizing the supply of grain, fertilizers, and energy to the global market.

According to a recent study from Allianz SE, German households may face additional monthly expenses on food of more than €250 ($268) per person this year, as inflation in the country is expected to be higher than in other EU states. Analysts say this is due to the fact that Germany is more reliant on manufacturing than its EU peers, and thus more susceptible to disruptions in Russian energy supplies.

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