USA consumer prices rose 0.2 percent in February


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

Data released today showed that the Consumer Price Index rose in February 0.2% and the core 0.1%.

A key measure of underlying US inflation unexpectedly eased in February amid falling prices for autos and prescription drugs, giving the Federal Reserve more room to stick to its plan for being patient on raising interest rates.

"We expect core CPI to print another solid 0.2% m/m increase, leaving the annual core inflation rate unchanged at 2.2% y/y".

The Fed, which has a 2 percent inflation target, tracks a different measure, the core personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index, for monetary policy.

Compared to February of last year, CPI rose 1.5 percent, down from 1.6 percent in January, driven by a five percent drop in energy, which was the largest decline in two and a half years.

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Additionally, among the six use-based classification groups, the output of primary goods, which has the highest weightage of 34.04, rose by just 1.4 per cent.

In the 12 months through February, the core CPI rose 2.1%. That index tends to run slightly below the Labour Department's CPI, and January figures are due March 29.

Even on a month-on-month basis, the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) declined during the month under review from December 2018 when it stood at 2.60 per cent.

B Prasanna, Head, Global Markets Group, ICICI Bank said, "Headline inflation for February moved upwards to 2.57 per cent as per our expectations". 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. But excluding food and fuel costs, the core CPI fell short of a forecasts, rising only 0.1 percent.

In a wide-ranging interview with CBS's 60 Minutes television news programme, Fed chair Jerome Powell on Sunday reiterated the central bank's wait-and-see approach to further monetary policy tightening in 2019. Prices fell for new (-0.2 m/m%) and used (-0.7% m/m) vehicles, prescription drugs (-1.0% m/m), and recreation (-0.4% m/m). Food prices jumped 0.4 percent in February. This article is strictly for informational purposes only.