“It is not possible that this ends without costs for German society, it is unthinkable,” Robert Habeck told public broadcaster ZDF on Wednesday. “I believe that we are ready to pay this price which is small enough compared to the sufferings in Ukraine.”
Preliminary figures indicate that inflation hit 7.3% in March, according to the country’s Federal Statistics Office. That’s the highest level in more than 40 years.
The main culprit: Soaring prices for natural gas and oil, which rose by nearly 40% from the year before.
“The high dependence on Russian energy supplies entails a considerable risk of lower economic output and even a recession with significantly higher inflation rates,” the German Council of Economic Experts said in a statement on Wednesday.
“Germany should immediately do everything possible to take precautions against a suspension of Russian energy supplies and quickly end its dependence on Russian energy sources.”
The council slashed its forecast for GDP growth this year to 1.8% from 4.6% in December, citing the inflationary forces and supply chain disruptions caused by war in Ukraine.
— Inke Kappeler and Mark Thompson contributed reporting.