BERLIN (Reuters) - German producer prices rose more than expected in February, though the rate of increase eased for the fifth month in a row, signalling that inflation in Europe's largest economy could be starting to wane, according to data released on Monday.
Producer prices of industrial products were up 15.8% on the same month last year, the Federal Statistical Office reported, compared with analysts' expectations for the rate of increase to ease to 14.5%.
Compared to January, prices fell 0.3%. The consensus was for a drop of 0.5%.
Apart from energy costs, which were up 27.6% year-on-year, producer prices also rose on the back of price increases for consumer goods, intermediate goods, consumer durables and capital goods, the office said.
The figures for February are preliminary and are expected to be revised, as they do not account for relief measures to help consumers and businesses with gas and electricity bills, which will be paid out in March and cover January and February retroactively.
(Reporting by Friederike Heine, Editing by Paul Carrel)