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French consumer prices up 1.7 pct on 12 months

PARIS, April 14 (AFP) – Consumer prices in France rose by 0.4 percent in March from February and by 1.7 percent from March 2003, the state statistics institute INSEE reported on Wednesday.

The increase was driven mainly by rises in the prices of clothing and shoes following the end-of-winter sales, and by increases in the prices of oil products.

Prices of fresh food, and of food in general, had also risen.

But the prices of other manufactured goods, of health products, and of transportation and communication services fell.

The core price index, which excludes volatile prices, showed no change in the month and an increase over 12 months of 1.6 percent, the same as in February.

On the basis of the EU harmonised inflation index, French consumer prices rose by 0.4 percent in March and by 1.9 percent on a 12-month comparison.


                                        Subject: French news