Gasoline, rents curb USA consumer price gains in February

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Carts parked outside the shops in Khari Baoli whole sale market near Chandni Chowk in New Delhi

The manufacturing sector saw growth quickening marginally to 8.7% in January from 8.4% in the previous month. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note was 2.844 percent, down from 2.870 percent at last close.

In men's, price increases of 4.3% in shirts and sweaters and 1.2% in trousers and shorts were partially offset by decreases of 0.8% in furnishings and 0.2% in the suits, sport coats and outerwear group. Moreover, core inflation is sticky at around 5 percent, while an imposition of more tariffs on some imports like mobile phones is likely to boost price pressures, giving the RBI more ammunition to wait and watch. The index rose 1.8% for the 12 months ending in February.

The core gauge rose less than in the prior month despite apparel costs, which helped drive the outsize gain in January, advancing 1.5% in February following a 1.7% increase.

"Whether this easing sustains or not depends on multiple factors, including the agricultural production as well as the threat of rising crude oil prices on the back of further output cuts".

The 1.8% core annual reading was under the Bloomberg consensus estimate of 1.9% and remains under that 2.0% threshold being targeted by the Fed. But this could normalize towards 4-4.5 percent range post monsoon, it said.

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However, for the nine-month period of April 2017-January 2018, industrial production grew 4.1 per cent and manufacturing just 4.3 per cent.

India's retail inflation fell to 4.44% in February driven by easing prices of food and vegetables. The strength of the 30-year reopening in spite of the $1 billion increase in supply suggests firm demand for long-dated bonds, and spurred additional bond buying in the open market. Over shorter horizons, the core CPI has accelerated. Prices for new motor vehicles fell 0.5 percent, the biggest drop since August 2009, after slipping 0.1 percent in January.

On the other hand, the industry group "Manufacture of tobacco products" has shown the highest negative growth of (-) 46.5 percent followed by (-) 32.4 percent in "Other manufacturing" and (-) 13.2 percent in "Printing and reproduction of recorded media".

Inflation for the fuel and light category was at 6.80 per cent in February (against 7.73 per cent in January). The decline comes after prices for new and used cars jumped last fall as residents of Texas and Florida replaced cars destroyed by hurricanes. Spot prices on U.S. cotton averaged 80.48 cents per pound for the week ended March 8, the highest weekly average since May 2014, when the average was 82.11 cents a pound, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The cost of airline fares rebounded after falling in February.

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