File photo of a shopper buying vegetables on a market in Nice southern France. Reuters

Consumer price index, or CPI, in France held steady in November compared to the previous month, while Italy recorded a decline, suggesting inflation still needs to pick up a good deal of momentum to reach the European Central Bank’s near-2 percent annual CPI target.

Analysts had expected French CPI to stay neutral in November after a decline of 0.1 percent in the preceding month. France’s annual CPI rose 0.8 percent, as expected, after a 0.7 percent growth in October.

“If the CPI stayed broadly stable in November 2013, the price indices of the different sectors moved in a different fashion: food prices and those of manufactured products increased slightly, prices of transport and communication services declined significantly while the price of energy, especially those of petroleum products, declined in November 2013,” French National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies said, in a statement.

In Italy, consumer prices dropped by 0.3 percent in November, according to Istat data, same as the monthly change in October, but lower than a consensus estimate of 0.4 percent. Annual inflation was pegged at 0.7 percent in November, marginally above an expected rise of 0.6 percent, but same as the rise in prices seen in October.