French consumer prices flat in September: INSEE first reading

FILE PHOTO: A customer pushes a shopping trolley on an escalator at the Bercy shopping centre in Charenton Le Pont, near Paris, August 29, 2013. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

PARIS (Reuters) - French consumer prices were flat in September over a twelve month period, preliminary EU-harmonised data showed on Wednesday, as a sharp fall in the cost of energy offset higher food and tobacco prices.

The INSEE statistic agency’s flash reading was below a forecast 0.3% year-on-year rise in a Reuters poll. Prices fell 0.6% on the previous month.

Inflation in the European Union’s single currency zone is still mired below the European Central Bank’s target.

Bank of France governor Francois Villeroy de Galhau last week dismissed “chatter” that the ECB was running out of ammunition and said it had ample room for manoeuvre.

Reporting by Richard Lough; editing by Carmel Crimmins