Factory Output Growth Jumps To 17-Month High, Inflation Rises To 5.2%

Retail inflation rises to a 16-month high of 5.21% in December 2017

The inflation data's significance lies in the fact that it influences the level at which the US Federal Reserve sets interest rates, which in turn has a major impact on the US Dollar.

The U.S. central bank raised interest rates for three times in 2017 and forecast three rate increases in 2018. This followed a 0.4% November increase.

For the full year, CPI rose 2.1%, the same as 2016, while core CPI slowed, posting a 1.8% increase after the 2.2% gain in the previous year.

The headline rate, which rose at a softer-than-expected 0.1% monthly rate to an annual pace of 2.1%, was held back in December by a 2.7% fall in petrol prices.

The December inflation data is due to be released on Friday, January 12 at 1200 GMT. The central bank's preferred inflation measure, the personal consumption expenditures price index excluding food and energy, has missed its target since May 2012.

The dollar trimmed losses against a basket of currencies after the data. USA stock index futures pared gains.

The Consumer Price Index inflation for rural areas was 5.27% in December 2017, while that for urban areas was 5.09% as compared to that in December 2016. The cost of both hospital and doctor visits increased 0.3 per cent.


Households also paid more for new motor vehicles, whose average price rose 0.6 per cent in price last month, the biggest gain since January 2017.

Meanwhile, used auto and truck prices jumped 1.4% in the month, while new vehicle prices gained 0.6%. "However, the subdued performance of electricity generation and the output of Coal India Limited may weigh upon the growth of mining and electricity in December 2017", added Nayar while giving an outlook going forward.

The annual CPI in rural areas in December ruled higher at 5.27 per cent, while in urban India it rose by 5.09 per cent.

But apparel prices fell for the fourth consecutive month, and airline fares fell 0.5 percent after a 2.4 percent drop in November. In the same month a year ago, growth was 1.5 percent. Data for November was revised to show sales gaining 0.9 percent instead of the previously reported 0.8 percent increase.

Meanwhile, despite reports of healthy sales from some stores during the holiday shopping season, department store sales declined 1.1 percent from the prior month, while sporting goods stores fell 1.6 percent. The cost of healthcare services increased 0.2 percent last month after being unchanged in November. These so-called core retail sales correspond most closely with the consumer spending component of gross domestic product.

After maintaining a benchmark policy rate at a record low near zero for seven years, the Fed started gradually raising rates modestly - once in December 2015 and again in December 2016.

The 10-year breakeven rate ended marginally higher on the day at 2.02 percent in advance of next week's $13 billion of 10-year TIPS supply.

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