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Inflation in France slowing but fresh food prices still up 11% in year

Provisional figures show that the annual inflation rate is lower this month than in August. Food prices are still high with sunflower oil up 137% year-on-year

Food prices continued to rise in September despite inflation going down overall Pic: Denys Kurbatov / Shutterstock

Inflation in France slowed slightly in September, partly due to the ‘slowdown’ in the cost of rising energy and services prices, new provisional figures show. However, food prices are still high with fresh items up by 11% in a year.

Inflation in September was at 5.6% year-on-year, down from 5.9% in August, figures from the official statistics bureau Insee show.

The IPCH (the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices), which is used as a baseline to measure the changes in prices of household consumer goods and services, rose by 6.2% year-on-year in September, compared to 6.6% in August.

In a statement published on September 30, Insee said that this drop was due to the “slowdown” in the cost of energy and services prices, despite food prices continuing to rise and manufactured product prices rising by almost as much.

September was the third month in a row that inflation slowed compared to the previous month. Before that, inflation had been rising every month after a low in July 2021 of 1.2%.

Insee said: “For the third consecutive month [energy prices] dropped within the context of the price of petrol products.” Year-on-year, this represents a 17.8% rise, versus 22.7% in August.

 The figures were also affected by a seasonal price drop linked to tourism, which was said to be more marked than last year. Year-on-year, the rise in service prices slowed, and was at 3.2% in September versus 3.9% in August.

Food prices rose by up to 11%

Despite slowdowns elsewhere, in September, food prices rose by 9.9%, with fresh items rising by 11%, compared to 3.5% in August. 

Read more: €224 more per person for food shopping in France this year, says study

Read more: The top 10 rising food prices in France… and five that are going down  

The cost of manufactured food goods rose very slightly, at 3.6% compared to 3.5% in August.

Here are ten of the highest rising products with the percentage showing the rise in price between September 2021 and September 2022*

  • Sunflower oil: 137.41%

  • Basmati rice: 28.57%

  • Artisan-style crisps: 26.27%

  • Flour: 17.31%

  • Sliced white bread: 15.03%

  • Fine green beans: 14.76%

  • Ground arabica coffee: 14.74%

  • Tomato coulis: 12.84%

  • Chocolate cereal: 12.12%

  • Mayonnaise: 11.9%

*Analysis by Le Monde, taken from average till prices at more than 5,500 points of sale in supermarkets and hypermarkets across France, of 38 food and non-food supermarket products, across low-cost, own-brand, and national brands, including promo prices, monthly since September 2021. See their findings in detail here

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