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France Inflation February 2024

France: Harmonized inflation falls to over two-year low in February

Harmonized inflation came in at 3.1% in February, which was down from January’s 3.4%. February’s reading represented the lowest inflation rate since September 2021. The fall was driven by softer price pressures for food and non-alcoholic beverages. That said, housing and utilities prices rose at a quicker pace in February compared to the previous month, while price pressures for transportation picked up pace.

Annual average harmonized inflation fell to 5.0% in February (January: 5.4%). Meanwhile, consumer price inflation fell to 3.0% in February, from the previous month’s 3.1%.

Finally, harmonized consumer prices rose 0.91% in February over the previous month, contrasting the 0.25% fall recorded in January. February’s result marked the highest reading since August 2023.

Analysts at the EIU commented on the outlook:

“In 2024 services prices will be the main driver of inflation. Falling energy and other commodity prices will combine with tighter monetary policy to slow price growth. We expect the ongoing spike in global shipping costs as a result of a flare-up in trade tensions in the Red Sea in January to be temporary. However, there is a risk of a rebound in supply-side inflation, which would complicate monetary policy easing by the ECB”.

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