Preliminary EU-harmonised statistics indicated that inflation in France surged more than projected in May to a new high, putting additional pressure on President Emmanuel Macron before upcoming legislative elections.

Consumer prices rose 0.7 per cent in May, for a 12-month inflation rate of 5.8 per cent, up from 5.4 per cent in the last month and the highest rate since France started working on European Union methodology to generate the numbers in the early 1990s, as per the INSEE statistics.

Inflation was predicted to grow to 5.6 per cent on average, considering a poll of eight economists in a report by Reuters.


High inflation is at the top of France’s political agenda, and following the elections, Macron’s government has promised a new wave of measures to protect buying power.

Apart from Malta, France has managed to maintain the inflation lower than the rest of the EU due to a 25 billion euro package of measures that includes, among other things, hefty price limits on gas and electricity.

Annual inflation in France, as measured by the national consumer price index, climbed to 5.2 per cent in May from 4.8 per cent in April, reaching its highest level since September 1985, according to INSEE.

This month, economists surveyed by Reuters projected an average growth rate of 5.0 per cent. In France, the national index is regularly monitored, whilst outside the country, the EU-harmonised index is used to assess inflation rates among euro-area nations.