France: Inflation remains steady in January
February 22, 2011
Consumer prices dropped 0.2% over the previous month in January, which contrasted the 0.5% increase recorded in December. As a result, annual inflation remained unchanged at December's 1.8%, undershooting market expectations of a 2.0% rate. According to the National Statistical Institute (INSEE), the January decrease reflected lower prices for manufactured products linked to winter sales, which offset higher energy prices, rising on the back of escalating oil prices. The core inflation index, which excludes more volatile categories such as oil, fruits and vegetables, dropped 0.1% in January, contrasting the 0.1% rise in December. Annual core inflation remained unchanged at December's 0.7% but annual average HICP inflation (based on the harmonised index of consumer prices) inched up to 1.8%.