Healthy retail sales in 2017 are another sign of the growing strength of the U.S. economy, but inflation was slower than expected, according to the latest government data released Friday. The reports probably will keep the Fed on course to increase interest rates in March. Kaplan said he had increased his growth forecast for this year to 2.5 to 2.75 percent. It raised borrowing costs 3X in Y 2017.
Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank of India is expected to maintain its policy repo rate at 6 percent this year in order to assist growth gain momentum. The other big driver for IIP's growth was consumer non-durables comprising mainly of fast moving consumer goods that recorded a growth of 23.1 per cent in November 2017 as against 3.3 per cent in November 2016.
Analysts polled by Reuters had predicted December's retail inflation rate would climb to 5.10%, the highest since July 2016, from 4.88% in November.
Indian consumer price inflation continued with its upward trend in December.
USA government-bond prices edged lower Friday, pushing the yield on the two-year note above 2%, after inflation data beat expectations.
Adding to the concern about slow retail price inflation was another report form the Labor Department showing prices at the wholesale level fell for the first time in about a year and a half.
Shelter costs rose 0.4% in the month, while medical care increased 0.3% and food was up 0.2%. The cost of both hospital and doctor visits increased 0.3 percent. Vegetable prices rose the most in December - by 29.13%.
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The government will release the December core PCE price index data later this month. "As a result, we still expect inflation will move up and stabilize around 2% over the next couple of years".
The energy index in the United States last month fell 1.2% compared to November. Mining production grew 1.1 percent in November from a subdued growth of 0.2 percent a month ago.
Sales last month were lifted by a 1.2 percent jump in receipts at gardening and building material stores and a 0.2 percent rise for auto dealerships.
These so-called core retail sales correspond most closely with the consumer spending component of gross domestic product.
Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan told CNBC that he believes the unemployment rate could fall below 4 percent. It revised November data to show a gain of 0.9 percent instead of the previously reported 0.8 percent increase. The economy grew at a 3.2 percent pace during that period.
Economists, however, said it may be too early to term it as an industrial recovery.
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