The French consumer price index for April showed higher-than-expected increases of 0.5% from March and 1.3% from a year earlier, the Insee statistics office said.
Economists polled by Thomson Financial News expected a month-on-month rise of 0.4% and a year-on-year rise of 1.2%.
Underlying 'core' inflation, which excludes products with either regulated or highly-volatile prices, rose 0.2% in April from March and was up 1.4% from a year earlier.
Food prices increased 0.8% on the month and 1.1% on the year.
The harmonized index of consumer prices (HICP) calculated to allow comparison with other EU members was up 0.5% in April from March and was up 1.3% from a year earlier.