March 18, 2018

World stocks inch higher as investors await US inflation data

14 March 2018, 09:43 | Israel Caldwell

An Indian man works at a cycle spare parts factory in Ludhiana | Money Sharma AFP

India’s industrial output rose by 7.5% in January retail inflation declined to 4.44% in February

In another data released by the government, the industrial production for the month of January came at 7.5 per cent, up from 7.1 per cent in December.

Interms of industries, sixteen out of the twenty-three industry groups in the manufacturing sector have shown positive growth during the month of January 2018 as compared to the corresponding month of the previous year.

The US reported a core inflation rate of 0.2% m/m and 1.8% y/y, exactly as expected and not really exciting.

Clothing and footwear price inflation has recorded a rise of 5.00% in prices.

The seasonal trend of rising food prices as summer approaches may prevent further easing of food inflation (3.26% in February) in the ongoing month, said Aditi Nayar, principal economist at rating company ICRA Ltd. The higher than expected rate was driven largely by the increase in the cost of food items, which shot up by 0.87% Month-on-Month.

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JPMorgan said that softening of inflation was nearly entirely underpinned by food prices.

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. Its positive correlation with the core CPI suggests that this measure would remain below the Fed's 2.0% inflation target when the February numbers are released. January's increase was also revised lower from 2.9 percent. The cumulative growth in these three sectors during April 2017-January 2018 stood at 2.5%, 4.3%, and 5.3%, respectively. The energy index rose 7.7% in the last twelve months.

"Tame core goods prices continue to keep inflation at bay, a reflection of the remaining global economic slack offsetting a tightening USA economy", he said. The consumer price-indexed (CPI) inflation was 3.65 per cent in February 2017. Consumer price inflation (CPI) was at 5.07% in January. That jump helped fuel inflation scares and contributed to a quick correction in the stock market that saw major indexes fall more than 10%.

November. Electricity growth was also impressive at 7.6% (4.4%). About 60% of the index covers the prices that consumers pay for services ranging from medical visits to airline fares, movie tickets and rents.

"The broader story remains that of USA monetary policy normalization in the backdrop of an improving economy and a further decline in currency market volatility would only fuel more risk taking appetite", said Commerzbank's FX strategist Thu Lan Nguyen.

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