Friday, 20 April, 2018

Before budget, inflation at 5.2% and Industrial growth at 8.4%

CPI increase accelerates retail inflation to a 17-month high CPI increase accelerates retail inflation to a 17-month high
Scott Davis | 13 January, 2018, 03:53

The Fed last year accelerated that pace, raising rates three times and signaling at its meeting last month that it expected to raise rates at the same clip this year.

The report also showed online sellers and other non-store retailers extended their dominance in December, increased 1.2% after a 4.2% spike in November, at the expense of traditional department stores which reported a 1.1% decline.

The statistics office last Friday projected the economy to slow to 6.5% in 2017-18 from 7.1% a year ago while maintaining that growth will accelerate to 7% in the second half of the year (October-March) from 6% in the first half (April-September).

"The breakeven levels are pricing in a greater expectation of increased inflationary pressure".

"The rise in housing inflation is likely to be persistent, while rising crude oil prices pose another risk".

The Labor Department's Consumer Price Index or CPI for December will be published at 8.30 am ET.

The dollar briefly trimmed losses against a basket of currencies after the CPI data, but later slumped to a four-month low.

Sales for all of previous year rose 4.2 percent, the biggest increase since 2014, outpacing the 3.2 percent rise in 2016, according to the report. The consensus is for 0.5%, while it was 0.8% in November.

Total retail sales rose to $495.4 billion in the final month of the year, a 0.4 percent increase compared to November.

Apparel prices, however, fell 0.5 percent.




Underlying U.S. consumer prices saw their biggest jump in 11 months in December, boosting expectations that inflation will keep the Federal Reserve on the path of raising interest rates. "As a result, we still expect inflation will move up and stabilize around 2% over the next couple of years".

The PCE price index was up 1.8% in November from a year earlier, and prices excluding food and energy rose 1.5% on the year. Food prices rose 0.2 percent after being unchanged for two straight months.

Its Producer Price Index gave up 0.1% in December from November. This comes after a 0.2% increase in the previous month. Retail sales increased 5.4 percent from a year earlier.

Along with the shelter index, the indexes for medical care, used cars and trucks, new vehicles, and motor vehicle insurance were among those that increased in December.

The biggest gains came in the category known as "nonstore retailers" which rose 1.2 percent in the month and were up almost 13 percent compared to the same month of a year ago.

These so-called core retail sales correspond most closely with the consumer spending component of gross domestic product.

The US central bank is forecasting three rate hikes for 2018.

Electricity production grew 3.9 percent in November as compared with 3.2 percent in October.

He said the biggest positive was the revision to the November retail data, suggesting fourth-quarter economic growth may have been stronger than previously thought.

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