French inflation eases unexpectedly to 4-month low in September

PARIS, Sept 27 (Reuters) - French inflation slowed unexpectedly in September to a four-month low, according to preliminary EU-harmonised data from the INSEE statistics agency on Friday.

Consumer prices fell 0.4% from August, giving an annual rate of 1.1%, INSEE said. A Reuters poll of 19 economists had an average forecast for inflation to have held steady at 1.3%.

The data are unlikely to offer much comfort at the European Central Bank, which launched a new stimulus package to help spark a recovery in the euro zone and boost low inflation.

INSEE said the fall was due to lower prices for food and energy, which offset an increase in services prices.

Separately, INSEE said that French producer prices were unchanged in August from July, and fell 0.7% over one year. (Reporting by Leigh Thomas; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)

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