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12 January 2018, 05:03 | Joann Bryant
Inflation at 17-month high, rises to 5.21 pc in Dec, 2017
However, economists believe the central bank may be forced to accelerate that pace if there are hints that inflation is beginning to rise more rapidly, given that unemployment continues to hover at 17-year lows.
Analysts polled by Reuters had predicted December's consumer inflation rate would climb to 5.10 percent, the highest since July 2016, from 4.88 percent in November.
The inflation, based on monthly WPI (Wholesale Price Index), rose to eight-month high of 3.93 per cent for November on the back of rise in food and fuel prices. The reports likely keep the Federal Reserve on course to raise interest rates at least three times this year.
"The rise in housing inflation is likely to be persistent, while rising crude oil prices pose another risk".
The pickup in the core CPI data may help reinforce expectations that the Fed is making progress on stable inflation, one of its twin goals along with maximum employment. "However, the reversal of other transient factors such as the expected seasonal moderation in food prices may help to cool inflation", Aditi Nayar, Principal Economist at ICRA said.
According to data released by Central Statistics Office (CSO), the inflation rate for the last month was mainly driven by steep hike in food and fuel prices.
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