Higher food prices pushes up retail inflation

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

Lower food prices halved India's retail inflation in February 2019 to 2.57 per cent, from 4.44 per cent during the corresponding month of a year ago, official data showed on Tuesday.

Today, we have an all-important release of US CPI data for the month of February and as we get close to the decision timings, here are the expectations as forecasted by the 8 major banks for the upcoming inflation data.

High food prices have led to a four-month high in retail inflation that rose to 2.57 per cent in February.

Treasuries rose after the report while the dollar fell, as the data suggest there's a greater chance that inflation won't hold up around the Fed's 2% objective - a development that would discourage policy makers from additional rate increases, amid rising risks from weakening global growth.

The Fed, which has a 2 percent inflation target, tracks a different measure, the core personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index, for monetary policy. The broader CPI rose 0.2% from January, the first increase in four months, though the 1.5% annual gain missed projections and was the smallest rise since 2016.

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In contrast, deflation in the cost of vegetables and pulses kept food prices subdued. The January PCE price data will be released on March 19 after being delayed by a 35-day partial shutdown of the federal government that ended on Jan. 25. The key shelter category rose 0.3% in February, and is up 3.4% on a year-on year basis.

In the 12 months through February, the core CPI rose 2.1 per cent. The CPI increased 1.6% on a year-on-year basis in January. The core CPI had increased by 0.2% for five straight months. After adjusting for inflation, average hourly earnings rose a seasonally adjusted 0.3% in February and are up 1.9% from February 2018. Annual wage growth jumped 3.4% in February, the biggest increase since April 2009, from 3.1% in January. Food costs gained 0.4 percent, the biggest increase since 2014. The central bank also changed its policy stance to "neutral" from "calibrated tightening". Clothing prices plunged 1 percent in February, while new-auto prices slipped 0.2 percent.

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

This article is for general information purposes only.

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