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Cost of living continues to rise

Average prices have risen 2.3% over a year, says Insee, and food is up 3.7%

INFLATION remains high in France, the latest figures from official statistics body Insee show.

Average consumer prices were up 0.8% in March over a month, and 2.3% over a year. Food is up 0.7% over the month and 3.7% over the year.

The average short-term rise is partly explained by the end of the winter sales with steep rises noted afterwards for items like clothes and shoes – up 11.7% over a month and 5.2% over the year.

Sharp rises have also been noted in watches and jewellery – up 1.6% in a month and 11.6% over the year.

Increased energy prices played a major part in rises – up 1.2% over the month and 6.5% over the year, mainly due to the increase in the price of crude oil.

The picture is not all gloomy, however, with Insee noting some areas where prices have come down – eg. pharmaceuticals are down 2.4% over the year and there were modest drops in prices of electrical items like IT equipment , cameras, TVs, hi-fis and telephones.

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