US CPI Carried No Reason For Fed To Get More Aggressive - CIBC

Retail inflation falls Feb, industrial output increases in Jan

India's retail inflation eased at 4.4 percent as prices of vegetables and other food and bevarages softened, data released by statistics office on Monday showed.

The so-called core index, minus the volatile food and energy sector, also increased 0.2% percent last month following a 0.3% gain in January.

The indices of industrial production for mining, manufacturing and electricity sectors for the month of January 2018 stands at 114.5, 133.8 and 149.5 respectively, with the corresponding growth rates of 0.1 percent, 8.7 percent and 7.6 percent as compared to January 2017. The core monthly increase of 0.2% was also in line with market expectations, with the year-over-year rate unchanged at 1.8%.

Consumer prices increased at a modest pace in February, underscoring that inflation pressures appear to be muted for now. A stronger than expected inflation report could be the catalyst that drives prices out of the current trading range. Industrial output growth for January also recorded a bump up, rising to a two-month high of 7.5 per cent after moderating in the previous month to 7.1 per cent. The Labor Department reported weaker-than-expected 2.6% annual average hourly wage inflation in February.

USA consumer prices continued to firm in February, indicating inflation is creeping up toward the Federal Reserve's target without the kind of breakout that would warrant a faster pace of interest-rate hikes.

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Chart 1 shows the inflation rate and our forecast for February 2018.

Leading domestic credit ratings agency Crisil said while there is an improvement in the growth-inflation mix in numbers released yesterday, it is unlikely to result in any rate cut by the central bank in the next six months. Next month's CPI is likely to generate a few more headlines, as a big drop in cell phone fees from the prior year drops out of the 12 month rate.

Industrial production grow at a high rate of 7.5 per cent in January 2018 against 3.5 per cent in the year-ago month on the back of firm manufacturing sector coupled with higher offtake of consumer and capital goods.

Retail inflation fell to a 4-month low of 4.44 per cent in February on cheaper food articles and lower cost for fuel. Price increases have largely remained below that goal in recent years.

But, on a cumulative basis, the IIP expanded by 4.1 per cent between April and January 2017-18, which was lower than the 5 per cent growth in the same period a year ago. Strong IIP growth of 7.5 percent in January; capital goods grow by 14.6 percent; manufacturing at 8.7 percent; infrastructure/construction goods at 6.8 percent. Resistance on the yellow metal is seen near the March highs at 1,339.

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