PARIS (Reuters) - French inflation eased in April to its lowest level since late 2016 as energy prices dropped, according to a preliminary reading from the INSEE stats agency on Thursday.
EU-harmonised data showed that consumer prices rose 0.1% from March, which meant that 12-month inflation slipped to 0.5%, its lowest level since October 2016, INSEE said.
Energy prices plunged 8.5% over 12 months, offsetting a surge of 3.7% in food prices as a nationwide lockdown disrupted supply chains and kept consumers hunkered down at home.
INSEE said its agents had been unable to collect price data in shops since March because of the lockdown, affecting the quality of its reading.
Reporting by Leigh Thomas; Editing by Gareth Jones