November 15, 2016 01:45 CST

Consensus Actual Previous
Month over Month 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Year over Year 0.4% 0.4% 0.4%

The final report on October consumer prices showed an unrevised flat performance on the month and a similarly unchanged 0.4 percent yearly inflation rate that matched the final September print.

The HICP update also contained no revisions, leaving a 0.0 percent monthly change and a 0.5 percent annual rate so that both outturns again matched their respective final readings from the previous month.

Private manufactured product prices showed no monthly growth while service sector charges were down 0.1 percent and energy up 1.3 percent as petroleum products spiked 2.4 percent. With food just 0.1 percent weaker, the upshot was that the seasonally adjusted core CPI dipped 0.1 percent versus September which was enough to lower the yearly underlying inflation rate by 0.2 percentage points to 0.5 percent. This equalled its second weakest print of the year to date.

There are no real surprises in this report which, once again, simply highlights the deflation risks still plaguing a major Eurozone economy.

The consumer price index (CPI) is a measure of the average price level of a fixed basket of goods and services purchased by consumers. Monthly and annual changes in the CPI represent the main rates of inflation. The national CPI is released alongside the HICP, Eurostat's harmonized measure of consumer prices. A flash estimate was released for the first time in January 2016 and is now published towards the end of each reference month.

The consumer price index is the most widely followed indicator of inflation. An investor who understands how inflation influences the markets will benefit over those investors that do not understand the impact. In countries where monetary policy decisions rest on the central bank's inflation target, the rate of inflation directly affects all interest rates charged to business and the consumer. As a member of the European Monetary Union, France's interest rates are set by the European Central Bank.

France like other EMU countries has both a national CPI and a harmonized index of consumer prices (HICP). The HICP is calculated to give a comparable inflation measure for the EMU. Components and weights within the national CPI vary from other countries, reflecting national idiosyncrasies.

Inflation is an increase in the overall prices of goods and services. The relationship between inflation and interest rates is the key to understanding how indicators such as the CPI influence the markets - and your investments. As the rate of inflation changes and as expectations on inflation change, the markets adjust interest rates. The effect ripples across stocks, bonds, commodities, and your portfolio, often in a dramatic fashion.

By tracking inflation, whether high or low, rising or falling, investors can anticipate how different types of investments will perform. Over the long run, the bond market will rally (fall) when increases in the CPI are small (large). The equity market rallies with the bond market because low inflation promises low interest rates and is good for profits.