France: Inflation remains stable in March
April 12, 2012
In March, consumer prices rose a strong 0.8% over the previous month, which doubled the 0.4% increase recorded in February. The monthly increase came in on the back of higher prices for manufactured goods. Annual inflation, however, remained unchanged at February's 2.3%, undershooting market expectations that had inflation moderating to 2.1%. The core inflation index, which excludes more volatile categories such as oil, or fruit and vegetables, added 0.5% over the previous month, which followed the flat reading recorded in February. As a result, annual core inflation edged up from 1.4% in February to 1.6% in March. Finally, HICP inflation (based on the harmonized index of consumer prices) inched up to 2.6% from 2.5% in February. Annual average HICP remained unchanged at February's 2.4%. The INSEE expects inflation to moderate to 1.7% this year.