United States core inflation unexpectedly cools on weaker vehicle, drug prices

United States core inflation unexpectedly cools on weaker vehicle, drug prices

United States core inflation unexpectedly cools on weaker vehicle, drug prices

Consumer inflation for January was revised downwards to 1.97 per cent, also its lowest level in 19 months, from 2.05 per cent, according to the official statement.

It said that rate of retail inflation, as represented by Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the month of February was 2.57, as against 1.97 per cent in January.

In February, gasoline prices rose 1.5 per cent after falling 5.5 per cent in January.

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The central bank signaled in January that it was moving to the sidelines after raising its short-term benchmark rate four times past year, most recently in December to a range between 2.25% and 2.50%.

"Looking ahead, we expect annual headline CPI inflation is likely to remain below 2% until December assuming a modest drift higher in oil prices and core inflation holding slightly above 2%". "Higher energy prices will push up overall inflation, and rising wages will lead businesses to raise prices in an effort to maintain profit margins". In January, the prices declined 4.18 per cent and 13.32 per cent respectively. That compares with 1.6 per cent in the previous month and is the fastest pace since 2015. The inflation rate for four basic elements of an average household - vegetables, sugar & confectionery, fruits and pulses & products remained in the negative zone at 7.69 per cent, 6.92 per cent, 4.62 per cent and 3.82 per cent respectively.

On a monthly basis, the consumer food price index moved up by 0.15 per cent in February against January 2019.

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The public's inflation expectations fell in February, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York's latest Survey of Consumer Expectations.

In a wide-ranging interview with CBS's 60 Minutes television news program, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell on Sunday reiterated the central bank's wait-and-see approach to further monetary policy tightening this year.

Energy prices rose 0.4 percent, the first increase in four months, as gasoline prices advance 1.5 percent.

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US 30-year bond yields were slightly down at 3.031 percent, from 3.032 percent on Monday. Annual wage growth jumped 3.4 percent in February, the biggest increase since April 2009, from 3.1 percent in January. Healthcare costs were held down by a record 1.0 percent decline in the price of prescription medication and a 0.7 percent drop in the cost of hospital services.

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