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France Consumer Prices Fall For Second Straight Month

French consumer prices declined for the second straight month in February, the statistical office Insee showed Thursday.

Consumer prices dropped 0.3 percent on a yearly basis in February, marking the second consecutive fall. Economists had forecast prices to fall again 0.4 percent as registered in January.

Inflation turned negative in January for the first time since October 2009 and it matched the 0.4 percent fall seen in September 2009.

Nonetheless, consumer prices increased 0.7 percent month-on-month, reversing January's 1 percent drop. Prices were expected to rise 0.6 percent.

The main contributors to the price increases were the seasonal rises in manufactured product prices at the end of the winter sales and in tariffs of services linked with winter holidays.

The harmonized index of consumer prices declined 0.3 percent annually after falling 0.4 percent a month ago. Month-on-month, the HICP gained 0.7 percent. Economists had forecast an annual fall of 0.4 percent and a 0.6 percent month-on-month increase.

After two consecutive months of stability, core consumer prices rose 0.2 percent from January. On year, it grew 0.1 percent in February.

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