Oct. 12 (Bloomberg) -- France’s inflation rate held at its highest in almost three years in September as a weaker euro increased the cost of dollar-priced energy products.
Consumer prices rose 2.4 percent from a year earlier based on European Union methodology, the same as the 2.4 percent increase in August, the Paris-based national statistics office, Insee, said today. The reading was the highest since October 2008. Economists forecast an increase of 2.6 percent, according to the median of 15 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey. In the month, prices were unchanged.
With oil prices 30 percent higher in a year and the euro weaker, French motorists are paying more for gasoline, sapping disposable income. The price of regular unleaded gasoline averaged 1.51 euros ($2.05) a liter in September, up from 1.49 euros a liter in August, according to the Energy and Environment Ministry.
Energy prices are increasing across the euro area, “primarily owing to the fall in the euro,” said Pierre-Olivier Beffy, an economist at Exane BNP Paribas in Paris. “This situation is unlikely to last beyond 2011 as the economic slowdown should rapidly impact prices.”
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