US CPI December Preview: Interest rate policy is divorced from consumer prices
15 January, 2021, 19:08
The US economy saw little inflation in 2020 amid the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic, with the final month of a year seeing only a slight increase as gasoline prices rose, according to government data released on Wednesday.
The Consumer Price Index rose by 0.4% for the month, which was twice the rate of November's rise and the largest monthly hike since last summer.
The Primary Articles index for this major group declined by (-3.11%) to 146.5 (provisional) in December, 2020 from 151.2 (provisional) for the month of November, 2020.
"The combination of weak price increases and the Fed's new inflation averaging outlook has removed CPI, Core CPI and its Personal Consumption Price Index (PCE) counterparts from market consideration".
However the "core" index excluding food and energy rose 0.1 per cent in December, and for 2020 the increase was 1.6 per cent - far below the central bank's 2 per cent goal.
At the regional level, the overall year-on-year inflation ranged from 2.1% in the Upper West Region to 16.3% in Greater Accra Region.
With the exception of the Upper West Region (-0.4% food inflation and 4.6% non-food inflation), all regions recorded higher food inflation than non-food inflation.
"Core inflation, i.e., headline sans food and beverages, and fuel and light, softened only marginally at 5.6%, just 15 basis points (bps) lower than November, suggesting continuing stickiness in core inflation".
The inflation of imported goods was 6.1% (up from 5.6% last month), while the inflation of local goods was 12.1% on average (up from 11.5% last month).
US Consumer Price Index figures are set to show a pickup in inflation in December. Inflation has been above the Reserve Bank of India's limit of 6 per cent for the past eight months until November.
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