January 31, 2019 / 8:06 AM / 23 days ago

French inflation down in January: INSEE

A young girl looks at school stationery in a supermarket in Nice August 23, 2012. The new school year will start on September 4 in France. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard/File Photo GLOBAL BUSINESS WEEK AHEAD PACKAGE - SEARCH "BUSINESS WEEK AHEAD AUG 8" FOR ALL IMAGES?

PARIS (Reuters) - French inflation slipped in January versus December, although the overall reading came in slightly above forecasts, preliminary EU-harmonized data from the INSEE statistics agency showed on Thursday.

INSEE said consumer prices fell 0.6 percent in January after a 0.1 percent rise in December, giving a 12-month rate of 1.4 percent. The 12-month rate stood at 1.9 percent in December.

Nineteen analysts polled by Reuters had given an average forecast for a January inflation rate of 1.3 percent.

Data this week showed that a key gauge of the market’s long-term expectations for inflation within the euro zone area had fallen to its lowest level since late 2016.

Inflation expectations in the euro zone bloc have fallen since early November, illustrating concerns that the European Central Bank (ECB) may struggle to meet its target for having inflation at close to but below 2 percent for the euro zone.

Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; editing by Jason Neely

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