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French consumer spending falls further in March

Staff Writer | April 28, 2017
France's consumer spending decreased for the second straight month in March, defying economists' expectations for an increase, figures from the statistical office INSEE showed.
France street
France   The statistical office INSEE
Consumer spending dropped 0.4% month-over-month in March, following a 0.7% drop in February, revised from a 0.8% fall reported earlier. Meanwhile, it was forecast to rise by 0.1%.

Energy consumption continued to decline in March, but at a slower pace of 1.8% after a 10.9% sharp fall in the prior month. Consumption of food products edged down 0.3% over the month.

On a yearly basis, consumer spending slid 1.0% yearly in March, confounding economists' forecast for an increase of 0.9%.

French inflation accelerated slightly, as expected, in April, the provisional estimate from the statistical office Insee showed Friday.

Consumer price inflation rose marginally to 1.2% in April from 1.1% in March. The annual rate came in line with expectations.

This slight increase in inflation came from a smaller drop in manufactured product prices, partly offset by a slight deceleration in the prices of energy, food and services, Insee said.

At the same time, the harmonized inflation held steady at 1.4% in April, in line with forecast.

Month-on-month, consumer prices edged up 0.1% versus a 0.6% rise in March. This sharp slowdown was driven by that of manufactured product prices, which was seasonal.

The harmonized index of consumer prices climbed only 0.1% after rising 0.7% in March.

Another report from the statistical office Insee showed that producer prices decreased 0.5% on a monthly basis in March versus a 0.3% fall in February.

On a yearly basis, producer prices advanced 2.9%.