CPI inflation eases to 5.07% in January'18

India's factory output grows 7.1% in December

The increases were led by much higher clothing costs and more expensive auto insurance. Adding fuel to the fire is the continuing stagnation of wages over the same period, with increases remaining well below the rate of inflation and putting further strain on household disposable incomes.

"This time around we are working on the assumption that the transport services category, air fares particularly, will apply some upward pressure to the 12-month inflation rate, with the month-to-month drop in prices likely to be less than in January past year", she said. "Indeed, we think that stronger growth will allow the MPC to hike interest rates by three times this year, more than markets expect".

Paul Hollingsworth at Capital Economics said CPI inflation will gradually drift downwards over the course of 2018 as the impact of the post-referendum drop in the pound continues to fade.

"Headline inflation was unchanged with petrol prices rising by less than this time previous year", he said. "I suspect that market participants have worked themselves into such a frenzy on inflation prospects that tomorrow's release could yield a bit of a relief trade in the bond market".

There is also a roughly 50% chance of a further increase in rates to 1% by the end of the year - a level last seen in 2009.

Inflation was largely dormant for most of the past decade, but inflation fears - at least in the financial markets - have roared back this year.

Our Bureau Retail inflation cooled slightly in January this year while factory output in December grew at a robust pace, indicating sustained recovery in industrial activity after the twin disruptions of demonetisation and GST implementation.

Inflation figures for a big economic data point came out higher than anticipated Wednesday morning, causing stock futures to run in the negative before the opening bell.

The world's seventh largest economy is expected to grow 6.5 percent in the fiscal year ending in March, while the International Monetary Fund expects growth will pick up to 7.4 percent in 2018, and 7.8 percent in 2019 - driven by a pickup in domestic and global demand.

All major US stock market indexes fell in the first weeks of February.

Clothing costs jumped 1.7 per cent in January after three months of declines.

On a month-on-month basis, the core sub-index increased by 0.68 per cent in January 2018 was higher from 0.51 per cent recorded in December. Auto insurance prices rose 1.3 per cent, the most since 2001. Tuesday also sees the release of the ONS house price data for December, with the weakness of mortgage approvals of late suggesting only a modest rise in property values.

Used vehicle prices changed to a single-month price change from a three-month moving average.

"But there are signs that the dynamics in the labour market are finally driving some level of domestically generated inflation".

The cost of healthcare services increased 0.4 percent, with prices for hospital care jumping 1.3 percent and the cost of doctor visits rising 0.3 percent.

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