French Inflation Hits Record High
France’s harmonized inflation rose more than initially estimated in February to hit a record high on higher food prices and services cost, final data from the statistical office INSEE showed on Wednesday.
EU harmonized inflation advanced to 7.3 percent from 7.0 percent in the previous month. The rate was revised up from 7.2 percent estimated on February 28. The rate was the highest since the formation of the euro area.
Similarly, consumer prices increased 6.3 percent in February from the last year. That was faster than the 6.0 percent increase in January and also the initial estimate of 6.2 percent.
Food prices registered a double-digit growth of 14.8 percent after a 13.3 percent gain. The increase in services cost rose to 3.0 percent from 2.6 percent. Prices of manufactured goods climbed to 4.7 percent from 4.5 percent.
On the other hand, energy price inflation slowed to 14.1 percent from 16.3 percent a month ago.
Data showed that core inflation accelerated to 6.1 percent in February from 5.6 percent in January.
The consumer price index, or CPI, logged a monthly growth of 1.0 percent, which was revised from 0.9 percent. This was also faster than January’s 0.4 percent gain.
Likewise, the harmonized index of consumer prices, or HICP, grew 1.1 percent month-on-month following the 0.4 percent increase a month ago. The February monthly rate was revised up from 1.0 percent.
Nonetheless, the flash estimate for the euro area showed a slowdown in overall inflation. Eurozone inflation eased to 8.5 percent in February. That was the weakest since May 2022.
In February, the European Central Bank had softened its pace of monetary policy tightening. The bank had raised its main refi rate by 50 basis points to 3.00 percent. The bank also said it intends to raise the rates by another 50 basis points in March.
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