France Inflation Rate Unchanged at 1.0% in March


In March 2013, the Consumer Price index increased 1.0 percent in March like in February. Excluding tobacco, the CPI went up also by 1.0 percent year on year (after +1.1 percent in February 2013). Core inflation indicator increased by 0.7 percent, after +0.6 percent in February). The Harmonized Index of Consumer Prices rose by 1.1 percent after 1.2 percent in February and +1.4 percent in January.

The largest upward pressures on the change in the CPI of March came mainly from a seasonal surge in manufactured product prices at the end of the winter sales and, to a lesser extent, from some prices of services associated with the winter holidays and from the seasonal rise in fresh foodstuff prices. Conversely, energy prices, especially those of petroleum products, declined in March.

After the end of the winter sales in most of the French departments, prices of manufactured products rebounded in March (+2.0 percent in 2013; +1.8 percent in 2012) but were stable year on year. Thus, prices of clothing and footwear increased by 12.2 percent in March (+11.7 percent in March 2012; +0.7 percent year-on-year).
 
In March 2013, energy prices decreased by 0.2 percent (+1.0 percent year on year) due to a decline in the price of petroleum products, also by 0.2 percent (-2.0 percent year on year). The drop in prices is more marked for heating fuels (-1.6 percent; -2.7 percent year on year) than for motor fuels (-0.1 percent in March and -2.3 percent year on year).
 
The downturn in food prices continued, their annual rate was +1.4 percent in March after + 1.7 percent in February and +2.1 percent in January. In March 2013, they went up by 0.5 percent, mainly as a result of the seasonal surge in prices of fresh foodstuffs (+3.3 percent; +3.4 percent year-on-year). 
 
Because of late winter holidays, the prices of some seasonal services rose further in March this year than last year. Thus, rents for holiday homes increased by 4.5 percent in March 2013 and by 2.6 percent year on year while they were stable in March 2012 (+2.3 percent year on year).

INSEE | Nuno Fontes | nuno@tradingeconomics.com
4/11/2013 9:04:14 AM