Retail inflation rises to 17-month high of 5.21% in December

Retail inflation jumps to 5.2% dashes hopes of repo rate cut

High food prices push India's retail inflation to 17-month high of 5.2 per cent

The jump in retail inflation comes a month after the Reserve Bank warning that there may be a spike in prices in the coming months.

India's retail inflation hit a fresh high, growing 5.2 percent in December, mainly due to hardening housing, fuel and food prices, while inching towards RBI's upper tolerance level of inflation at 6 percent.

Friday, the U.S. Consumer Price Index rose 0.1% in December, after increasing 0.4% in November, the U.S. Labor Department said.

Analysts polled by Reuters had predicted December's consumer inflation rate would climb to 5.10 percent, the highest since July 2016, from 4.88 percent in November.

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"The 0.3% m/m gain in core consumer prices in December will reinforce expectations of a Fed rate hike in March and supports our view that the Fed will ultimately increase interest rates by a more aggressive 100bp cumulatively this year", said Paul Ashworth, chief US economist at Capital Economics.

The indices of Industrial Production (IIP) for mining, manufacturing and electricity sectors for the month of November 2017 stood at 107.4, 127.5 and 140.1 respectively, with the corresponding growth rates of 1.1 percent, 10.2 percent and 3.9 percent as compared to November 2016.

Despite a cut in taxes, retail petrol prices have risen 5.6 per cent and diesel by 9 per cent since June in Delhi.

The CPI inflation, which has been rising for two consecutive month in November, was also higher than market expectations for the third time.

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

Food costs edged up 0.2 per cent in December and are up a modest 1.6 per cent over the past year. Economists were expecting to see a 0.2% rise in price pressures.

Despite the stronger than expected monthly core increase, annual inflation remains relatively muted, increasing 1.8% in December, up from 1.7% in November.

In a separate report on Friday, the Commerce Department said retail sales rose 0.4 percent last month.

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