June 30, 2020 / 7:59 AM / 9 days ago

French inflation unexpectedly eases to 4-year low in June

FILE PHOTO: An employee of an empty duty free shop is pictured in Paris as the country is hit by the new coronavirus, France, January 30, 2020. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

PARIS (Reuters) - French inflation eased unexpectedly in June to hit its lowest level in over four years, according to a preliminary reading from the INSEE statistics agency on Tuesday.

EU-harmonised data showed that consumer prices fell 0.1% from May, which meant the 12-month inflation rate slipped to 0.1%, from 0.4% in May.

The result, which brought inflation to its lowest level since May 2016, fell short of economists’ expectations in a Reuters poll, which had an average estimate for an inflation rate of 0.4%.

The slower inflation rate was driven by a 9.3% drop in energy prices over 12 months, in line with lower global oil prices, but prices for manufactured goods also declined, falling 1.1%.

Reporting by Leigh Thomas; Editing by Pravin Char

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