U.S. consumer prices up tiny 0.1 percent in December

Retail inflation rises to 5.21 pc dashes rate cut hopes

U.S. consumer prices up tiny 0.1 percent in December

The all-India general CPI inflation surged to 17-month high of 5.21% in December 2017 (new base 2012=100), compared with 4.88% in November 2017.

Crude prices have rallied, sending Brent crude above United States dollars 70 a barrel on Thursday for the first time since December 2014, a worry that India imports most of its energy needs.

The retail inflation for rural India was recorded at 5.27 per cent which was 5.09 for the urban areas.

Consumer food price inflation, a metric to gauge changes in monthly kitchen costs, continued to witness a jump, with prices of food rising 4.96 percent in December from 4.42 percent in November. The reports likely keep the Federal Reserve on course to raise interest rates at least three times this year. He added that while the strong rise in core inflation is not a trend, it appears price pressures are heading in the right direction. Apparel prices, however, fell 0.5%.

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Housing inflation remained grew 8.25 percent in December from 7.36 percent a month ago. The overall 2.1 per cent price increase was identical to the inflation gain in 2016 with both years up from tiny increases of 0.8 per cent in 2014 and 0.7 per cent in 2015. Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence climbed 0.3% after gaining 0.2% in November. That lowered the year-on-year increase in the CPI to 2.1% from 2.2% in November.

Meanwhile, the report said core consumer prices, which exclude food and energy prices, increased by 0.3% in December after ticking up by 0.1% in November.

In a separate report on Friday, the Commerce Department said retail sales rose 0.4% last month. The consensus is for 0.5%, while it was 0.8% in November. The measure excluding food and energy is also below their target. Consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, increased at a 2.2% annualized rate in the third quarter.

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