IIP quickens to 7.5%, inflation softens

IIP quickens to 7.5%, inflation softens

The consumer price index rose 0.2 percent from a month earlier, hitting the consensus forecast.

The Consumer Price Index, which tracks the costs of household goods and services, rose 0.2 per cent for the month, which matched analyst expectations but was down from January's sharp 0.5 per cent gain.

Retail inflation, which is an indicator of price rise has cooled down to a four-month low, since it was recorded at 4.88 per cent in November 2017.

The energy index fell 0.1% in February after a 3.0% gain in January.

In January, retail inflation had declined to 5.07% while the inflation based on wholesale prices had eased to a six-month low of 2.84%.

The latest United States employment report showed that average weekly earnings slowed to 2.6% in the year to February, down from 2.8% in the previous month, which was revised lower from the initial estimate of 2.9% - the one that sparked speculations that the Fed could go four or more this year instead of the forward guided three interest rate hikes.

We forecast headline CPI to rise 0.1% m/m and 2.1 % y/y.

In the wake of the Great Recession, 2 percent has been the Fed's target for core inflation.

Still in alliance with BJP, but will fight for Andhra's rights: TDP
But the TDP has not completely shut the door on a possible rapprochement and still remains a member of the NDA. Ramesh is now a member of the Upper House representing neighbouring Telangana since the state bifurcation.

Prices for women's and girls' apparel increased 1.5% in February, while men's and boys' clothing prices were up 1.7%. It then grew by 7.06 per cent in December and by 3.5 per cent in January 2017.

Capital goods output in the month under consideration increased sharply by 14.6 per cent, as against a fall of 0.6 per cent in January past year.

The unemployment rate also remained 4.1 percent for the fourth month as almost a million people flooded into the job market and majority found jobs.

Tuesday's report showed an index of energy prices rose 0.1% in February, as gasoline and fuel oil costs both fell. It sees gross value added - a key measure of growth - increasing 7.2% next fiscal year from 6.6% this year.

The general index for the month of January 2018 stood at 132.3, thus registering a 7.5 percent growth as compared to January 2017. Food inflation fell almost 150 basis points (bps) on-month, while core inflation was flat.

The mining sector, however, registered negligible growth of 0.1 per cent, as compared to 8.6 per cent rise in January past year.

Ken Matheny, executive director of US economics at Macroeconomic Advisers by IHS Markit, said, "The CPI for apparel continued to rebound from soft readings late past year". The decline comes after prices for new and used cars jumped last fall as residents of Texas and Florida replaced cars destroyed by hurricanes.

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