Friday, 27 April, 2018

United States consumer prices slow as gasoline falls

As-expected CPI quells faster rate hike concerns Bond yields fall as US inflation cools
Jodi Jackson | 15 March, 2018, 06:33

The new figures follow the CPI posting a January hike of 0.5% from the month before, its biggest gain in four years, which raised concerns the USA might be in danger of seeing increased long-term inflation.

The Labor Department said its consumer price index rose by 0.2% in February after climbing by 0.5% in January.

Price movements recorded by All Items less farm produce or Core sub-index increased by 11.7 percent (year-on-year) in February 2018, down by 0.4 percent points from the rate recorded in January (12.10) percent.

Excluding the volatile food and energy components, the CPI gained 0.2 percent after accelerating 0.3 percent in January.

As-expected CPI quells faster rate hike concerns
US inflation rate inches up to 2.2% in February

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. Even better, these growing throng of employed Americans - which suggests increased consumer spending and by extension, stronger growth - has yet to put pressure on wages and again, by extension, inflation.

"Inflation is beginning to creep higher, led by services, exactly what you might expect in an economy characterized by a drum-tight labor market", Stephen Stanley, chief economist at Amherst Pierpont Securities, wrote in a research note.

The US reported a core inflation rate of 0.2% m/m and 1.8% y/y, exactly as expected and not really exciting. This is the largest annual gain since August 2014, the Labor Department said Wednesday. The weekly average was up from 78.60 per pound the week before and further above the 74.84 cents per pound reported the corresponding period a year ago, USDA said. However, core inflation rose to 11.7 percent (0.75% m-o-m) from 11.1 percent. The food index was unchanged in February, while the energy index increased slightly. But the Fed's preferred inflation measure has usually come in below that target for the past six years. Over shorter horizons, the core CPI has accelerated. In particular, apparel prices rose 1.5% in February. Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence, which is what a homeowner would pay to rent or receive from renting a home, increased 0.2 percent last month after advancing 0.3 percent in January.

Households also paid less for healthcare. In contrast, the indexes for communication, new vehicles, medical care, and used cars and trucks declined over the month. The indexes for shelter, apparel and motor vehicle insurance all rose and contributed to the monthly increase. The cost of airline fares rebounded after falling in February.

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