French inflation hits record high in euro era

Food, services and manufactured goods are the biggest contributors to rising prices, according to official data

Inflation in France continues to soar at a record pace and rose faster than expected in February, largely due to surging food prices, according to the most recent calculations by statistics agency INSEE, published on Wednesday.

Consumer prices increased from a projected 7.2% to 7.3% in February year-on-year, up from 7.0% in January and representing the strongest increase in France’s euro era, INSEE said.

This latest report shows that food, services and manufactured goods have been the main contributors to rising inflation.

Earlier this month the government warned French households that inflation will accelerate to reach 10% in March, which means that food prices will also increase by 10%. The country’s authorities have introduced a so-called “anti-inflation food basket” comprising about 50 basic items and have obliged large retailers not to hike prices on these essentials.

French finance minister Bruno Le Maire said he expected inflation to reach a peak this summer and then start to ease. Banque de France governor Francois Villeroy de Galhau acknowledged that inflation across the Eurozone remained too high and continues to be the main concern and the top priority for monetary policy.

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