French consumer prices rise as inflation hits 2%
French consumer prices rose 0.8 percent in March, lifting the annual inflation rate to 2.0 percent, amid rising oil and food prices and an end to high street sales, official figures showed Wednesday.
In February prices had risen 0.5 percent, the INSEE statistics institute said.
Much of the rise in March was attributed to price increases in manufactured goods, linked notably with the end of the winter sales, but also food products and the direct and indirect effect of record oil prices -- as the unrest in Libya and the region continued.
The price rise of clothing and shoes was particularly acute, up eight percent in March alone, as the department stores put away the "sale" signs.
Energy costs were up over two percent on the month and by 15.4 percent on an annual basis.
The French government recently raised its inflation estimate for this year to 1.8 percent from 1.5 percent, due to the spike in the price of oil and raw materials.
© 2011 AFP