French preliminary inflation slows to 3.4% in January


Updates headline, adds energy, food inflation, context, tobacco and services

Jan 31 (Reuters) - French consumer prices rose 3.4% year-on-year in January, a touch above expectations, but inflation slowed from the previous month, preliminary data published by national statistics agency INSEE showed on Wednesday.

INSEE's preliminary figures showed EU-harmonised inflation up by 3.4% in January when compared to the same month a year earlier, but marking a slowdown from the 4.1% figure recorded for December.

Analysts in a Reuters poll had expected a preliminary inflation figure of 3.3% for January.

Energy inflation slowed significantly this month, with prices up 1.8% on the year compared to 5.7% in December, the data showed, while food inflation also slowed to 5.7% from 7.2% in December.

France's government and energy giant EDF in November agreed a compromise they said would allow the company to be profitable while shielding consumers from sharp increases in power bills.

The government has also been pressuring food producers and retailers.

(Reporting by Olivier Sorgho; Editing by Jean-Michel Belot, Andrew Heavens and Ros Russell)


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