Tuesday, 17 September, 2019

Core Consumer Prices Jump, Post Largest Annual Rise in Year

India August retail inflation rate climbs rate cut hopes still high Vendors wait for customers at their respective shops at a retail market in KolkataMore
Russell Knight | 12 September, 2019, 21:59

Hospital inpatient care prices increased 0.4% and the cost of doctor visits shot up 0.5%, reversing July's 0.5% decrease.

Investors will also be reviewing the August CPI numbers on Thursday to clarify whether consumption is still inflation supportive and the results may be more encouraging than those from retail sales.

Consumer price inflation in the country rose to 3.21 per cent in August, after falling slightly to 3.15 per cent in July from 3.18 per cent in June, provisional figures released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) showed. However, the core CPI, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, rose to 2.4% annually from 2.3% and beat the market expectation of 2.3%.

While the Fed officially targets 2% headline inflation, policy makers look to the core index for a better read on underlying price trends. Most economists expect additional monetary policy easing in October and December.

The trade stand-off has soured business confidence and tipped both US and global manufacturing into recession.

Despite the economy's waning fortunes, underscored by an inversion of the U.S. Treasury yield curve, employers are holding onto their workers. It is the lowest level in almost five months and further evidence that the labor market remains strong.

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The drop in claims was the largest since May.

"The labor market strongly suggests the economy continues to expand", said John Ryding, chief economist at RDQ Economics in NY. Compared year over year, it was 3.69 per cent in August 2018. Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence, which is what a homeowner would pay to rent or receive from renting a home, rose 0.2 per cent in August for a second consecutive month. It was (-) 1.12 per cent in August 2018.

Meanwhile, the retail inflation on health was 7.84 per cent, recreation and amusement at 5.54 per cent and personal care at 6.38 per cent. There was also a jump in the costs of nonprescription drugs, but prices for prescription medication fell 0.2 per cent.

Accordingly, the prices of pulses and its products increased by 6.94 per cent, vegetables by 6.90 per cent and meat and fish by 8.51 per cent.

Aditi Nayar, Principal Economist, ICRA, said: "While the late surge in monsoon rains has narrowed the YoY gap in kharif sowing to a mild 0.6 per cent as on September 6, 2019, the flooding in certain areas has led to a continued rise in the prices of vegetables such as onions". The cost of new vehicles and household furnishings fell.

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