France: Annual fall in consumer prices moderates in February
March 12, 2015
In February, consumer prices jumped 0.7% over the previous month. The increase contrasted the 1.0% drop observed in January, which had represented the fastest monthly drop in several years and slightly overshot the 0.6% increase the markets has expected. According to the national statistical institute (INSEE), higher prices for manufactured products are due to the end of the seasonal sales as well as winter services tariffs related to the holidays.
Despite the monthly increase, consumer prices fell 0.3% in February over the same month last year, which followed the 0.4% drop observed in January. Core consumer prices, which do not consider volatile categories such as fresh food and energy prices nor regulated prices rose 0.2% over the previous month, which was up from the flat reading observed in January. Annual core inflation inched down from 0.2% in January to 0.1% in February.
Harmonized consumer prices (based on the harmonized index of consumer prices, HICP) rose 0.7% over the previous month (January: -1.1% month-on-month). Harmonized consumer prices fell 0.3% annually in February as well. Annual average HICP inflation inched down from 0.5% in January to 0.4% in February.
Author: Ricardo Aceves, Senior Economist