Inflation watch: December consumer prices up just 0.1 pct

Inflation watch: December consumer prices up just 0.1 pct

The benchmark consumer-price index rose 5.21% from a year earlier, the highest since July 2016 and significantly higher than November's 4.88% increase.

Reflecting a sharp pullback in energy prices, the Labor Department released a report on Friday showing United States consumer prices rose by less than expected in the month of December.

Retail inflation in India rose to 5.21% in December 2017 compared to that in December 2016, data released by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation showed on Friday.

At the same time, the central bank's preferred gauge of inflation - a separate figure based on consumer purchases and issued by the Commerce Department - has mostly missed its 2% goal in the past five years.

Consumer inflation slowed in December to a tiny 0.1 percent gain as the cost of energy products tumbled following a big jump in November.

According to some economists, the latest rise in core inflation provides some incentive to raise interest rates.

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USA energy prices were up sharply a year ago compared to 2016, with petrol rising almost 11% and fuel oil up more than 15%.

Avery Shenfeld, senior economist at CIBC World Markets, said that the US dollar could see some momentum Friday following CPI data. "However, the reversal of other transient factors such as the expected seasonal moderation in food prices may help to cool inflation", Aditi Nayar, Principal Economist at ICRA said.

However, monthly core inflation, which strips out volatile food and energy costs, rose 0.3%, following a 0.1% advance in November.

Last month, gasoline prices fell 2.7% after rebounding 7.3% in November.

Meanwhile, used vehicle and truck prices jumped 1.4% in the month, while new auto prices gained 0.6%. Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence climbed 0.3% after gaining 0.2% in November.

Sales last month were supported by a 1.2% jump in receipts at gardening and building material stores. The measure excluding food and energy is also below their target. They were previously reported to have increased 0.8% in November.

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