The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
Increases in German core inflation following the 2007 VAT hike were smaller than expected, leading to speculation about delayed inflationary effects. This paper argues to the contrary that price increases in advance of the VAT hike explain the small increase upon implementation. We find that core inflation rose by 0.36 percentage point in the run up and by a further 0.40 percentage point at the time of the VAT hike. Cumulatively, the tax hike contributed to two thirds of the increase in core inflation in 2006-07 at an estimated pass-through of 73 percent. Most of the increase in 2006 was of general nature, while about one sixth can be attributed to durable goods and items with low degree of competition.