Wall St falls as strong inflation data raises rate hike fears


The fairly strong inflation report from the Labor Department on Wednesday put more pressure on USA financial markets, which were spooked by a surge in annual wage growth in January. Markets expect the office to show January's inflation eased to 2.9%, with core inflation posed to move from 2.5% to 2.6%.

Analysts said the higher house rent allowance, increase in MSP, and rising commodity prices have implications for inflation.

Producer input and output price inflation both ticked down in January.

"In terms of the policy outlook, we think the BoE should wait until the sterling collapse effects have fully left the system before being able to assess the domestic demand impact on the headline inflation figures". Surveys from the BRC and CBI have suggested that, following the weakest December sales growth for seven years, the subdued trend continued into the New Year.

Stocks went into a tailspin after January's employment report contained a hotter-than-expected gain in wages, prompting a sharp jump in interest rates.

"Even if inflation drops back a bit further from here, it looks likely to settle at a higher level than the Bank of England feels comfortable with".

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The largest downward contribution to change in the rate came from prices for motor fuels, which rose by less than what it was a year ago.

Rising inflation could hurt consumer spending, which is already showing signs of slowing. But the real yield is the important one for the USA economy, and also the most important gauge of market expectations about central bank policy. Other economists forecast that core prices won't reach that level until the end of the year, if at all.

Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, has revised the Base Year of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) from 2010=100 to 2012=100 with effect from the release of indices for the month of January 2015.

"We stand by our judgement that CPI inflation will fall relatively rapidly". A key factor is the extent of higher costs that firms have yet to pass through from the weakening of the Pound over the past year and a half. All this has been caused by the historic low interest rates, coupled with the Quantitative Easing program.

The last interest rate rise was in November and that was the first in more than a decade. "We expect a fourth hike in the cycle to 1.25% to follow in May next year".

"Any upside surprise today versus the consensus for a fall in the annual CPI will reinforce expectations of the BoE being more active in hiking rates", wrote MUFG's head of European market research, Derek Halpenny, in a note to clients. Then it fell back to exactly where it had been before the announcement. The PPI measures wholesale price pressures in the economy. This is less than 16.92 per cent reported in December 2017, compared with the corresponding rural inflation rate in January 2018 which dropped to about 15.89 percent from about 16.10 per cent recorded in December 2017.