Monday, 23 October, 2017

U.S. inflation falls in May on dip in gasoline prices

US retail sales slide 0.3 percent biggest drop in 16 months U.S. inflation falls in May on dip in gasoline prices
Jeannie Matthews | 15 June, 2017, 02:19

USA consumer prices fell 0.1% for May compared with consensus forecasts of prices being unchanged on the month while the year-on-year inflation rate declined to 1.9% from 2.2% previously and compared with an expected rate of 2.0%.

The Commerce Department said retail sales fell 0.3 per cent last month amid declining purchases of motor vehicles and discretionary spending after an unrevised 0.4 per cent increase in April.

Over the past 12 months, consumer prices are up 1.9 per cent while core inflation has risen 1.7 per cent. It forecast that prices will rise just 1.6 percent this year, down from a March forecast of 1.9 percent.

Food prices rose 0.2% on the month with a year-on-year increase of 0.9%.

While the US central bank is expected to raise interest rates by 25 basis points at the end of a two-day meeting later on Wednesday, weak inflation, if sustained, could put further monetary tightening this year in jeopardy. Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence advanced 0.2 per cent after a similar increase in April. On Wednesday, June 14, 2017, the Labor Department reports on USA consumer prices for May.

Retail sales rose 3.8 percent in May on a year-on-year basis. These included apparel, airline fares, medical care services and communication.

Tottenham's Hugo Lloris concedes late 50-yard howler as Sweden defeats France
He chose to take a touch after receiving the ball back, but his punt forward went straight to former Sunderland man Toivonen. A win at the Friends Arena in Solna would have moved European Championship runners-up France six points clear of Sweden .

"With employment near its maximum sustainable level and the labor market continuing to strengthen, the committee still expects inflation to move up and stabilize around 2% over the next couple of years in line with our longer run objective", Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen said Wednesday. "It won't stop the Fed from hiking interest rates later today, but it increases the downside risks to our forecast that there will be a further two rate hikes in the second half of this year", said Paul Ashworth, chief United States economist at Capital Economics in Toronto. Food prices rose for a fifth straight month. The Fed's preferred measure of inflation, tied to consumer spending, has been below 2 percent for five years and in recent months slipped back a bit.

Auto sales remained sluggish for the month, falling 0.2 percent in May, while electronics and appliance sales saw their largest monthly decrease in more than seven years, plunging 2.8 percent.

Department store sales tumbled 1.0 percent, the largest drop since July 2016.

The second drop in the CPI in three months followed a 0.2 percent rise in April.

Despite the weak report, analysts noted that April's sales numbers were revised significantly upward, especially in the "control" group of goods, which excludes gasoline, cars and building materials. The 2.7 percent fall in energy prices mainly drove the drop in consumer price index. That has led some retailers, including Macy's M.N , Sears SHLD.O and Abercrombie & Fitch ANF.N to announce shop closures.

CPI inflation in May is at the lower end of the RBI's projected headline inflation band of 2-3.5 per cent in the first half the current fiscal. Excluding automobiles, retail sales also contracted by 0.3% on a monthly basis.

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