French inflation strengthened in December for the fifth month in a row, statistics showed Friday.
Consumer prices in the eurozone's second-largest economy rose 0.3% on month and 1.2% on year, supported by an acceleration in energy and services prices and a slower decline in the prices of manufactured goods, statistics agency Insee said.
Still, the increase was slightly below the expectations of economists, who had forecast a rise of 0.4% on month and 1.2% on year.
The gradual strengthening of inflation underscores an uptick in the French economy over the past year and provides some relief to the European Central Bank, which recently extended its asset-purchasing program as it attempts to drive inflation toward its 2% target.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
January 05, 2018 03:11 ET (08:11 GMT)