Inflation, Consumer Prices On The Rise In France
French inflation rose in July to its highest level since March 2012, adding to a raft of stronger-than-expected inflation data in the Eurozone that could support the European Central Bank's plans to gradually wind down its monetary stimulus programme.
Data from the INSEE national statistics body showed on Tuesday that EU-harmonised French consumer prices had risen by 2.6% over a year in July.
A Reuters poll of 24 economists had given an average forecast of 2.4% for the July inflation figure.
INSEE said that the rise had been caused, principally, by higher energy prices.
Earlier this week, data showed that German and Spanish inflation had also remained slightly above the European Central Bank's target in July, supporting the ECB's cautious approach of gradually winding down its monetary stimulus.
Elsewhere, the French government expects to cut the country's 2018 economic growth forecast following the "disappointing figures" published for the second quarter, said French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire.
"We will revise the growth forecasts for 2018," Le Maire told BFM Television on Tuesday. He declined to quantify the extent to which the growth forecast could be downgraded.
The INSEE national statistics agency had already forecast in June that France's economy would grow 1.7% this year as a whole, down from a decade high of 2.3% last year, due to higher oil prices and uncertainty about protectionism.