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BERLIN (Reuters) - Germans' purchasing power increased in the first quarter at its weakest rate in more than three years as inflation accelerated in Europe's largest economy, data from the Federal Statistics Office showed on Friday.
Real wages climbed by 0.6 percent between January and March compared with the same period last year - their slowest rise since the end of 2013.
Earnings rose by 2.6 percent, a stronger rate than in the previous three quarters, but inflation picked up to 1.9 percent, reaching its highest level since the end of 2012, partly due to the higher cost of petrol and heating oil.
Rising wages, record high employment and ultra-low borrowing costs have helped make consumption a key pillar of growth in Germany, which has traditionally been an export-driven economy.
Reporting by Rene Wagner; Writing by Michelle Martin, editing by Thomas Escritt