French inflation eased in March as food, tobacco, and energy prices slowed, according to official data released on Friday. The annual rate dropped to 2.3 percent from 3.0 percent in February, as reported by the INSEE statistics institute.

Food price inflation significantly decelerated to 1.7 percent in March compared to 3.6 percent in February, while tobacco prices increased by 10.7 percent, down from 18.7 percent in the previous month. Consumer prices rose by 0.2 percent in March, a slowdown from the 0.9 percent increase in February.

The decrease in inflation is attributed to a slight drop in energy prices, particularly gas and petroleum products, as stated by INSEE.

Investors are keeping a close watch on inflation data across Eurozone countries, anticipating possible interest rate cuts by the European Central Bank as early as June. Although Eurozone inflation has been on a downward trend, it remains above the ECB’s target of two percent, reaching 2.6 percent in February.

Inflation in Spain, a Eurozone member, accelerated to 3.2 percent in March from 2.8 percent in February, according to data released on Wednesday. These developments are fueling speculation about future monetary policy decisions by central banks in the region.


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