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techkenyot.com March 20, 2019


Retail inflation seen rising, industrial growth may soften

14 March 2019, 04:39 | Hattie Nash

Image used for representational purpose

Consumer Inflation Rises to 2.57% in February as Compared to 1.97% in January 2019

India's industrial output growth stood at 1.7 per cent in January, mainly on account of slowdown in the manufacturing sector, while retail inflation rose to a three-month high of 2.57 per cent in February. This should make the FOMC comfortable with its recent decision to be patient on monetary policy, and await clearer signs on how slower global growth and weaker confidence shows up in domestic data in the months ahead.

The consumer inflation in January stood at 1.97 percent.

According to the Central Statistics Office data, the CFPI had deflated by (-) 2.24 per cent in January 2019.

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The core PCE price index increased 1.9 per cent on a year-on-year basis in December after a similar gain in November.

Food price inflation for urban areas stood at 1.27 in February 2019 against (-) 0.96 per cent in January 2019 and 2.45per cent in February a year ago.

In contrast, deflation in the cost of vegetables and pulses kept food prices subdued. Gas prices for U.S. drivers were $2.31 a gallon on average in February, up from $2.25 in January, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. That compares with 1.6 per cent in the previous month and is the fastest pace since 2015.

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Core inflation numbers, however, remain sticky at above 5 per cent and prices for most services are rising at above 6 per cent, reflecting pickup in demand conditions and pricing power, particularly in urban economy, she said. That index tends to run slightly below the Labor Department's CPI, and January figures are due March 29. Food costs were up 0.4 percent, their largest monthly increase since May 2014, as both the food at home and food away from home indexes increased. Annual wage growth jumped 3.4% in February, the biggest increase since April 2009, from 3.1% in January.

Energy prices rose 0.4 percent, the first increase in four months, as gasoline prices advance 1.5 percent. The central bank also changed its policy stance to "neutral" from "calibrated tightening".

But consumers got some relief from healthcare costs, which fell 0.2 percent after five straight monthly increases.

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Prices for new motor vehicles, used cars and trucks, as well as recreation fell.



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