French consumer spending falls further in March
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%. ■