Manufacturing lifts India's November factory output by 8%

Manufacturing lifts India's November factory output by 8%

The U.S. central bank is forecast to hike its benchmark interest rate three times this year after making three similar hikes last year.

But some economists think the Fed might be forced to accelerate the pace if signs emerge that inflation is picking up, given that unemployment is hovering at a 17-year low.

Total retail sales rose to $495.4 billion in the final month of the year, a 0.4 percent increase compared to November.

Earlier this month, Finance Minister had told Parliament that the inflation had increased owing to a seasonal rise in vegetable prices and the higher house rent allowances disbursed to government employees under the 7th Pay Commission recommendations.

The core inflation rose 1.8 percent for the 12 month ending December.

For December 2017, the State Bank of India (SBI) had stated that the numbers are expected to remain at elevated level, adding, "We project CPI inflation to come in between 5.0-5.2%".

Economists are hoping that a tightening labor market and recent weakness in the dollar will lift inflation toward the Fed's 2 percent target this year.

Looking at some of the components, the report said that food index increased 1.6% in 2017, while energy index increased 6.9%. Prices for US Treasuries fell, with the yield on the interest-rate sensitive two-year note rising to the highest since 2008.

On a cumulative basis, industrial output has clocked a slower rate of growth than last year growing at 3.2 per cent during April-November, the first eight months of this financial year, as against 5.5 per cent in the same period last year.

The cost of medical care increased 0.3 per cent, with prices for prescription medication surging one per cent after rising 0.6 per cent in November. The cost of both hospital and doctor visits increased 0.3 percent.

Manufacturing sector, which accounts for more than three-fourths of the entire index, grew 10.2 percent in November, compared with 2.5 percent growth in October, and 4.8 percent in November 2016, government data showed. The cost of motor vehicle insurance increased 0.6 per cent. Apparel prices, however, fell 0.5 per cent. Economists were expecting to see a 0.2% rise in price pressures. Mining output grew at 1.1 per cent in November, sharply down from 8.1 per cent last year, while electricity recorded a growth of 3.9 per cent against 9.5 per cent a year ago.

USA energy prices were up sharply previous year compared to 2016, with petrol rising almost 11% and fuel oil up more than 15%. Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence climbed 0.3% after gaining 0.2% in November.

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