PARIS (Reuters) – French inflation eased in July compared to the previous month, data showed on Wednesday, in the latest set of lacklustre readings from the euro zone that has added to the case for more monetary easing.
Consumer prices eased by 0.2% this month, giving a 12-month inflation rate of 1.3%, down from 1.4% in June, according to preliminary EU-harmonised data from the INSEE statistics office.
A Reuters poll of 21 analysts had forecast a July 12-month inflation rate of 1.2%.
Data earlier this week showed that French growth slowed unexpectedly in the second quarter on weaker household spending while German consumer morale worsened for the third month in a row heading into August, adding to signs that the euro zone economy as a whole is cooling.
The data from the currency bloc’s two biggest economies has backed European Central Bank President Mario Draghi’s assessment that the growth outlook is deteriorating and that the ECB should inject more monetary stimulus.
(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Andrew Heavens)