The German import price index in March fell at its fastest annual rate since April 1987, the Federal Statistical Office said Monday.

Import prices dropped 7.1% year-on-year in March after falling 6.4% in February and 5.4% in January. Prices fell for the fifth consecutive month and the decline was quicker than a 6.5% fall predicted.

On a monthly basis, import prices were down 0.4% in March following a 0.1% decrease in February. Economists had expected just a 0.1% fall, while the import price index dropped for the eight straight month in March.

The index of import prices, excluding crude oil and mineral oil products, was 1.8% below the level of a year earlier.

Meanwhile, the index of export prices decreased 1.7% in March over the previous year and fell 0.4% month-on-month.

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