March 23, 2018

World stocks inch higher ahead of US inflation data

14 March 2018, 09:41 | Winston Chapman

Carts parked outside the shops in Khari Baoli whole sale market near Chandni Chowk in New Delhi

CPI IIP data today Will there be any surprises? Find out here

India's industrial production rose by 7.5% in January 2018 compared to that in January 2017, data released by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation showed.

A report released by the Labor Department on Tuesday showed consumer prices in the US increased in line with economist estimates in the month of February.

Annually, core inflation rose 1.8%.

While the price rise in food segment was 3.26% in February, it was 17.57% in vegetables.

Inflation in India slowed for a second straight month, giving the central bank room to keep interest rates on hold for longer while providing relief to battered bond investors. The food index was unchanged in February, as a decline in the index for food at home offset an increase in the food away from home index.

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Some economists feel that with annual economic growth climbing to 7.2 percent in the October-December quarter, the RBI could resort to pre-emptive monetary tightening to cool prices.

Within the February numbers, there were signs that price pressures were running hotter than they had been at this point in 2017. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan inched down 0.05 per cent.

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 a year ago. Household goods and services inflation was 4.16%. It is expected to show an increase of 0.2%, well below last month's 0.5% increase. The highlighted 2 percent level is the Federal Reserve's Core inflation target for the CPI's cousin index, the BEA's Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) price index.

Amongst use-based industries, sectors including capital goods (14.6 per cent), consumer durables (8 per cent) and non-durables (10.5 per cent) showed healthy expansion in January, in an indication that both investments by companies and retail demand are coming back on track. The CPI was up 2.2% in the 12 months through February, compared with 2.1% in January, while the core index increased 1.8% from a year earlier for a third month. The NFIB survey also showed almost a third of owners reported raising compensation to retain or attract workers last month, the largest share in more than 17 years. In a report authored by SBI Group Chief Economic Adviser, Dr. Soumya Kanti Ghosh, the state-owned lender said the 7.5 percent jump was due to steep growth in manufacturing and electricity. Used auto and trucks prices declined after four straight monthly increases.

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