France: Inflation records lowest level in more than three years
April 11, 2013
In March, consumer prices rose 0.76% over the previous month, which was above the 0.29% increase registered in February and broadly in line with market expectations of a 0.70% increase. The monthly reading mainly reflected seasonal price rises in manufactured products related to the end of winter sales as well as an increase in prices of services associated with the winter holidays. Despite the monthly rise, annual inflation inched down from 1.1% in February to 1.0% in March, marking the lowest level recorded since December 2009. The core inflation index, which excludes more volatile items such as oil, fruit and vegetables, increased 0.40% over the previous month, which contrasted the 0.20% drop seen in February. Annual core inflation inched up from 0.6% in February to 0.7% in March. Finally, annual HICP inflation (based on the harmonized index of consumer prices) inched down from 1.2% in February to 1.1% in March. Annual average HICP moderated to 1.9% from 2.0% in February. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panellists expect HICP inflation to average 1.5% in 2013, which is down 0.1 percentage points from last month's forecast. Next year, panellists project inflation to average 1.8%.