French government minister: expects food price inflation to ease off by September

PARIS (Reuters) – Food price inflation in France – which has been a major concern for consumers – should ease off by September, said government minister Olivia Gregoire on Sunday.

“By the time people come back from their holidays in September, we will have a visible decrease in the prices you see on the shelves and in terms of food price inflation,” Gregoire, who is a government minister responsible for small-and-medium sized enterprises (SMEs), told France Inter radio.

Gregoire’s comments echoed those from Bank of France governor and European Central Bank member Francois Villeroy de Galhau, who said earlier this month that he expected food price inflation to start easing in the second half of this year.

Data published on April 28 showed the French economy grew 0.2% in the first quarter, despite strikes against the government’s pension reform bill, but inflation remained stubbornly high.

France’s headline inflation level rose to 5.9% in April from 5.7% in March. The French inflation level stood at 6.9%, as measured by a European Union-harmonised consumer price index.