France: Inflation accelerates in March
April 13, 2011
Consumer prices rose 0.8% in March over the previous month, which was above the 0.5% increase recorded in February. Annual inflation rose from 1.7% in February to 2.0% in March, overshooting market expectations of a 1.8% rate. According to the National Statistical Institute (INSEE), the March acceleration reflected rising prices for energy (+2.4% month-on-month) and food (+0.9% mom) as well as higher prices for manufactured products (+1.3% mom). The core inflation index, which excludes more volatile categories such as oil as well as fruit and vegetables, rose 0.3% in March, above the 0.1% increase in February. Annual core inflation rose from February's 0.3% to 0.7%. Finally, annual average HICP inflation (based on the harmonised index of consumer prices) rose from 1.8% in February to 2.2% in March. The government is forecasting inflation of 1.8% in 2011.