For 25 years, Theo Jost served the German Christmas dish of goose in his restaurant near the Black Forest. The birds were fresh, reared by farmers in northern Germany. But this year he took the dish off the menu because rising costs all along the supply chain would have doubled its price compared to last year.
“I said to my son: ‘We can’t expect our guests to pay 60-70 euros ($62-75) for a serving of goose,'” Jost told Reuters.
That would be beyond the budgets of Germans looking to cut back on non-essentials amid a cost of living crisis fuelled by rising energy prices.
They surged as the world emerged from pandemic lockdowns in 2021 and have been pushed yet higher in the stand-off between gas-rich Russia and the West.
Germans interviewed by Reuters said they were putting off spending decisions as inflation bit into their income, while a broad range of economic data suggest the picture will not improve for months into 2023.
Heavily dependent on Russian gas, Germany saw inflation at 11.3% in November according to the official European Union-wide harmonised measure – higher than the 10% average among countries that use the euro and well above the 7.1% of neighbour France.