French Inflation Stable At 1.5%; Household Spending Falls

French consumer prices climbed at a steady pace in January, preliminary data from the statistical office Insee showed Friday.

Another report from the statistical office showed that household spending decreased at the end of the year 2019 on a sharp contraction in energy consumption.

Consumer price inflation held steady at 1.5 percent in January as the acceleration in energy prices was offset by services, food and tobacco prices.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices dropped 0.4 percent, in contrast to a 0.4 percent rise in December.

Inflation, based on the harmonized index of consumer prices, remained unchanged at 1.6 percent in January. Month-on-month, the HICP dropped 0.5 percent offsetting December's 0.5 percent rise.

The final inflation data for January is due on February 20.

Overall producer prices stabilized on a monthly basis in December after rising 0.8 percent in November, Insee said in a separate communique. Producer prices in domestic market also remained flat, while that in foreign market dropped 0.1 percent.

Year-on-year, producer prices grew 0.4 percent after easing 0.5 percent in November.

Household consumption dropped 0.3 percent on a monthly basis in December, in contrast to a 0.7 percent rise in November.

Although car purchases increased in December, energy consumption fell 1.8 percent and food product spending dropped 0.5 percent. Meanwhile, spending on engineering goods grew 0.6 percent.

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