Inflation slowed slightly in France to 3% year-on-year in February, after 3.1% in January, while accelerating over the month, the National Institute of Statistics (Insee) said on Friday, revising slightly to the raises its first estimates. Between January and February, prices increased by 0.9% after -0.2% in January, in particular due to “the strong acceleration in energy prices”, driven by electricity and petroleum products, specifies INSEE in a press release. Its first estimate showed an increase of 0.8% over the month.

Services and manufactured products are also up over the month but tobacco is slowing down while food prices “are falling due to the sharp drop in the price of fresh products”. The drop in inflation over one year is due in particular to “base effects”, specifies INSEE, because prices had increased significantly over one month in February 2023. Over one year, food prices increased by 3.6% in February, after 5.7% in January, slowing down for the eleventh consecutive month.

The brake is very clear on fresh products (0.4% after 7.9%), thanks to a drop in the prices of fresh vegetables. The increase in manufactured products recorded its eighth month of slowdown, thanks to declines in furniture, large household appliances, games/toys, health products and even vehicles. The prices of non-durable household equipment continue to increase, but less rapidly, while the rise in clothing prices is accelerating.

Prices of services increased by 3.2% in February 2024 year-on-year, as in January, while energy prices accelerated sharply (4.3% in February 2024, after 1.9% in January) , specifies INSEE. Electricity prices notably jumped by 23.1% over one year but also by 9.3% over the month with the “partial restoration of taxes”.

Over one year, the harmonized consumer price index (HICP), which is used for European comparisons, stood at 3.2% in February, after 3.4% in January. It rebounded by 0.9% over one month after -0.2% in January while core inflation, which excludes the most fluctuating elements such as energy and certain food products, decreased over one year to 2, 7% in February 2024, after 3.0% in January. In 2023, inflation in France had slowed to 4.9% on average after 5.2% in 2022.