French inflation fell unexpectedly in December. However, because the French government began to phase out regulations that made fuels cheaper carefully, economists had expected a further increase.
The drop provides relief for the European Central Bank (ECB) after Spain and Germany reported lower inflation in December. The Netherlands will publish its first estimate on Friday.
Life in France became 6.7 percent more expensive in December compared to the last month of 2021. In October and November, inflation peaked at 7.1 percent. Economists expected a further increase. However, compared to November, prices fell by 0.1 percent.
As in other European countries, falling fuel prices were an important part of the decline. They drove inflation up less. Services also became more expensive less quickly, notes the French statistics agency Insee.
At the same time, consumer confidence in France declined somewhat further. As a result, the French became less positive, especially about their own financial position and the possibility of buying things.