French 12-month inflation was stable at 1.0 percent in March, but was up sharply on a monthly basis, according to figures released Thursday by the national statistics institute Insee.
From February to March, inflation stood at 0.8 percent, a marked rise from the monthly rate of 0.3 percent in February, an Insee statement said.
"The largest upward pressures on the change in the CPI (consumer price index) of March came mainly from a seasonal surge in manufactured product prices at the end of the winter sales and, to a lesser extent, from some prices of services associated with the winter holidays and from the seasonal rise in fresh foodstuff prices," the statement said.
"Conversely, energy prices, especially those of petroleum products, declined in March," it added.
For the entire 17-nation eurozone, staff at the European Central Bank have forecast that inflation should average 1.6 percent this year.