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France: inflation unchanged in May, slowed to + 0.2% over the year

Consumer prices in France in May are seen stable compared to the previous month with inflation slowing to 0.2% per year from + 0.3% in the previous month, according to the provisional estimate made at the end of the month by Insee. The drop in inflation is believed to be the result of significantly lower prices for energy and manufactured goods and slower food prices. On the other hand, the prices of services and tobacco would accelerate by over a year. The harmonized consumer price index should slow down to + 0.2%, after + 0.4% in April, remaining stable in the monthly comparison. France’s GDP fell -5.3% in the first quarter according to estimates by the Insee statistics institute which thus revises its previous estimate of a -5.8% drop published at the end of April. “This unusually strong revision can be explained by the replacement of some estimates and extrapolations for the month of March, heavily influenced by the containment measures” for coronavirus implemented since March 17, explains the National Statistical Institute. Meanwhile, household consumption in France decreased by a third (33.7%) in April compared to February and by 20.2% compared to March, according to data published by Insee. In April, the French were forced to stay indoors for the entire month because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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