India's consumer inflation rises to 2.57 pct in February

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

India's factory growth dragged while retail inflation saw an uptick in the data released on Tuesday.

"The Quick Estimates of Index of Industrial Production (IIP) with base 2011-12 for the month of January 2019 stands at 134.5, which is 1.7 percent higher as compared to the level in the month of January 2018".

India's industrial output in January rose 1.7 percent from a year ago; lower than forecast, government data showed on Tuesday. That index tends to run slightly below the Labor Department's CPI, and January figures are due March 29.

Excluding the volatile food and energy components, the CPI edged up 0.1%, the smallest increase since August 2018. But still, 2.57 percent far lesser than the 5.07 per cent recorded in the same month a year ago. The CPI had been unchanged for three straight months.

Economists had forecast a 0.2 per cent gain in the monthly core gauge and a 2.2 per cent annual advance.

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Food price inflation for rural areas stood at (-) 1.75 in February 2019 against (-) 2.80 per cent in January and 3.70per cent in February previous year. Inflation expectations held by the public one year and three years from now fell, both to readings of 2.8% from 3% in January, the bank said Monday. The dollar pared gains against the yen and extended losses against the euro.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell had made clear on Friday that he and his colleagues are in no hurry to adjust interest rates as growth slows and inflation stays subdued. At the same time, there are few signs that inflation presents a threat to the Fed's current wait and see monetary policy stance.

On a sub-category basis, vegetable prices reduced on YoY basis in January by (-) 7.69 per cent. Owners-equivalent rent, one of the categories created to track rental prices, rose 0.3 percent, as did rent of primary residence.

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence, which is what a homeowner would pay to rent or receive from renting a home, increased 0.3 percent in February, as it did in January. Clothing prices plunged 1 percent in February, while new-auto prices slipped 0.2 percent. That meant the average weekly paycheck, adjusted for inflation, declined 0.1% from January even though hourly wages rose.

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

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