Europe 1 with AFP 10:08 am, May 31, 2023

After starting at 6% at the beginning of the year, inflation is gradually slowing down in France. According to the first estimate published Wednesday by INSEE, "this decline in inflation would be due to the one-year slowdown in energy prices" and a slight slowdown in food increases.

Inflation slowed sharply in France May to 5.1% year-on-year, after reaching 5.9% in April and more than 6% at the beginning of the year, according to a first estimate published Wednesday by INSEE. "This decline in inflation would be due to the year-on-year slowdown in energy prices (...) manufactured products and services", but also food, up 14.1% year-on-year in May after growing 15% in April, says the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE).

The increase in the price of fresh products (+10.4% over one year) continued at almost the same pace as in April (+10.6%), but the cost of other food products rose less rapidly (14.8% against 15.8% in April). The disinflation is even sharper for energy, whose prices rose 2% year-on-year in May, after a jump of 6.8% in April and double-digit growth in recent months.

Tobacco prices accelerate

The cost of manufactured goods (+4.1% year-on-year in May) and services (+3%) is also decelerating, but less rapidly. Tobacco, whose cost jumped 9.8% year-on-year in May, is the only exception to the disinflation movement and its price accelerates for the third consecutive month, notes INSEE.

The harmonised index of consumer prices (HICP), a reference indicator for comparisons between European countries, rose by 6% year-on-year in May, almost one point lower than in April (+6.9%). INSEE is due to publish a second estimate of inflation in May in mid-June.