French consumer prices in March increased 0.3% from the previous year, while economists expected a 0.4% rise, the statistical office INSEE said in a report on Friday. In February, annual inflation stood at 0.9%.

The consumer price index for all households rose 0.2% month-on-month in March. Monthly inflation also stood below the expected rate of 0.3%.

The harmonized index of consumer prices climbed 0.2% from February, taking the annual increase to 0.4%. Economists were expecting a 0.3% monthly increase and 0.5% on a yearly basis.

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