French inflation edged back up in January, remaining close to multidecade high levels, due to the acceleration in food and energy prices as the government ended fuel subsidies and increased the price cap on natural gas.
The consumer price index increased 6.0% in January compared with a year earlier, up from the 5.9% increase recorded in December, preliminary data from the country’s statistics office Insee showed Tuesday.
The rise in inflation comes after two consecutive months of declines. Still, economists polled by The Wall Street Journal expected inflation to come in a little higher at 6.1%.
Energy prices increased 16.3% on year in January, up from the 15.1% annual increase recorded in December, Insee said. Similarly, food inflation accelerated to 13.2% from 12.1%. Manufactured goods inflation remained unchanged at 4.6%, while services inflation slowed to 2.6% from 2.9%.
Consumer prices rose 7% on year by European Union harmonized standards, accelerating from the 6.7% annual increase seen a month earlier.
French inflation is expected to peak in the first half of 2023 and to fall sharply afterward, closing the year at around 4%, according to the latest macroeconomic projections from the Bank of France released in December.
Write to Xavier Fontdegloria at firstname.lastname@example.org