France: Inflation remains unchanged at three-year high
January 13, 2012
In December, consumer prices rose 0.4% over the previous month, which was an inch above the 0.3% increase recorded in November. Despite the monthly rise, annual inflation remained unchanged at November's 2.5%, the highest level since October 2008, and exceeded market expectations, which had inflation moderating to 2.3%. The December reading reflected an increase in prices for services and higher prices for fresh food products. The core inflation index, which excludes more volatile categories such as oil, or fruit and vegetables, rose 0.3% in December, unchanged from the increase recorded in November. As a result, annual core inflation rose from 1.6% in November to 1.8% in December. Finally, HICP inflation (based on the harmonized index of consumer prices) remained unchanged at November's 2.7%, its highest level since November 2008. The reading pushed annual average HICP inflation to 2.3% in December, a notch up from November's 2.2%.