French inflation slows faster than expected in May - INSEE

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French monthly inflation slowed faster than expected in May, thanks largely to a fall in service sector prices which offset a marked acceleration in food prices, final EU-harmonised data from the INSEE statistics agency showed on Friday.

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PARIS, June 14 (Reuters) - French monthly inflation slowed faster than expected in May, thanks largely to a fall in service sector prices which offset a marked acceleration in food prices, final EU-harmonised data from the INSEE statistics agency showed on Friday.

Consumer prices rose 0.1% compared to April to give a 12-month inflation rate of 0.9%. The final May figure was below forecast (1.1%) and below April's revised rate of 1.3%.

The European Central Bank (ECB) has a target for inflation within the euro zone bloc at just below 2%, although faltering economic growth in the region has resulted in euro zone inflation consistently coming in below the ECB's target.

INSEE said service sector prices fell 0.2 percent on the month. On a year-on-year basis, a fall in air transport and communication prices left services-sector inflation at 0.6 percent compared to 1.0 percent in April.

(Reporting by Richard Lough; Editing by Bate Felix)

((Email: richard.lough@thomsonreuters.com; Tel: +33 1 49 49 52 42; Reuters Messaging: richard.lough.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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