US core inflation unexpectedly cools on autos, drug prices

Retail inflation climbs to 2.57%, factory output decelerates to 1.7%

The Consumer Price Index increased 0.2 percent, lifted by gains in the costs of food, gasoline and rents.

Today, we have an all-important release of US CPI data for the month of February and as we get close to the decision timings, here are the expectations as forecasted by the 8 major banks for the upcoming inflation data.

Data released by the statistics office showed retail inflation rose to 2.57% in February from 2.05% a month ago while factory output decelerated to 1.7% in January from 2.4% in the previous month.

The retail inflation for the month of January 2019 stood at 2.05 per cent, but was later revised to 1.97 per cent. "Core inflation slowed, but is running at a 2.1% annualized pace over the past three months and on a year-over-year basis, close to the FOMC's goal".

The CPI inflation is expected to inch up in February as food prices hardened on a month-on-month basis. Consumer inflation - determined by Consumer Price Index (CPI) - indicates the rate of increase in consumer prices.

Additionally, among the six use-based classification groups, the output of primary goods, which has the highest weightage of 34.04, rose by just 1.4 per cent.

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In the 12 months through February, the core CPI rose 2.1 percent. That index tends to run slightly below the Labour Department's CPI, and January figures are due March 29. WPI inflation stood at 2.74 per cent in March 2018.

The core sector had slowed for three straight months and the December IIP was at a 19-month low of 1.8 percent.

The public's inflation expectations fell in February, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York's latest Survey of Consumer Expectations. A decline in core goods prices (-0.2% m/m) was the culprit behind the softness in core inflation. The central bank also changed its policy stance to "neutral" from "calibrated tightening".

USA 30-year bond yields were slightly down at 3.031 percent, from 3.032 percent on Monday.

Prices of fruits (-4.62 per cent) and vegetables (- 7.69 per cent) continued to decline in February. Annual wage growth jumped 3.4 percent in February, the biggest increase since April 2009, from 3.1 percent in January.

Prices for new motor vehicles, used cars and trucks, as well as recreation fell.

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