May 31, 2022 03:06AM ET
Preliminary data aligned with EU data showed Friday that inflation in France rose more than expected in May and hit a new record, adding pressure on President Emmanuel Macron ahead of parliamentary elections later this month.
French statistics agency INSEE reported that consumer prices rose 0.7 percent in May and 12-month inflation was 5.8 percent, up from 5.4 percent in April, reaching the highest rate of inflation since the early 1990s, when France began using the European Union methodology to calculate the figures.
Eight economists polled by Reuters expected inflation to rise 5.6 percent on average.
Fighting high inflation is high on France's political agenda, and Macron's government has promised a new round of measures to boost purchasing power after the election.
So far, France has managed to keep inflation lower than in all other EU countries except Malta, thanks to a €25 billion package of measures, mostly consisting of costly restrictions on rising gas and electricity prices.
INSEE reported that annual inflation, as measured by France's national consumer price index, rose to 5.2 percent in May from 4.8 percent in April, reaching its highest level since September 1985. Economists polled by Reuters had expected the average rate in May to be 5.0%.
France's national index is watched more closely than the EU harmonized index, which is used outside its borders to compare inflation rates between countries using the euro.