France: Annual drop in consumer prices slows in March
April 15, 2015
In March, consumer prices rose 0.7% over the previous month. The reading mirrored February’s result and matched market expectations. According to the national statistical institute (INSEE), higher prices for manufactured products as a result of the end of the seasonal sales and winter services tariffs related to the holidays were the main contributors to the consumer price increase. Petroleum products and fresh foodstuffs also contributed to the increase.
Although consumer prices increased on a monthly basis in March, consumer prices fell 0.1% in March over the same month last year, which followed the 0.3% drop observed in February. Core consumer prices, which do not take into account volatile categories such as fresh food and energy prices, nor regulated prices, rose 0.1% over the previous month, which was down from the 0.2% increase observed in February. Annual core inflation inched up from 0.1% in February to 0.2% in March.
Harmonized consumer prices (based on the harmonized index of consumer prices, HICP) rose 0.7% over the previous month, the same reading as in February. On an annual basis, harmonized consumer prices recorded zero growth in March (February: -0.3% year-on-year). Annual average HICP inflation inched down from 0.4% in February to 0.3% in March.
Author: Eric Denis , Economist