India's slowing inflation a temporary reprieve for Asia's worst bond market

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Consumer price inflation in India, as represented by Consumer Price Index (CPI), eased to 4.44% in February from 5.07% in the previous month.

The Labor Department said its consumer price index rose by 0.2% in February after climbing by 0.5% in January.

As manufacturing picked up pace, India's factory production growth in January at 7.5 per cent doubled over the 3.5 recorded in the same month a year ago, even as retail inflation eased in February, official data showed on Monday.

The overall CPI increased 0.2% in February on a seasonally adjusted basis, after rising 0.5% in January and was up 2.2% from a year earlier.

January saw annual consumer inflation of 5.1 percent, off the December figure of 5.2 percent, which was the highest rate in 17 months.

The Federal Reserve wants to see inflation at roughly a 2 percent pace, as a hedge against deflation, which can bring down wages as well as prices.

The Fed is expected to hike rates three times this year, with quarter-point moves, as the economy looks headed for relatively strong growth and the jobless rate could sink to a multi-decade low.

The CPI inflation for rural areas was 4.37% in February while for urban areas it was 4.52%.

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Clothing and footwear price inflation has recorded a rise of 5.00% in prices.

India's factory production grew in January to 7.5 per cent over the same month past year, and marginally over the 7.1 per cent recorded in December 2017, official data showed on Monday.

Analysts polled by Reuters had predicted February's rate would ease to 4.8 percent from 5.1 percent in January.

The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note yield stood little changed at 2.879 per cent.

These were partly offset by a decline in medical costs, with hospital care and prescription drugs both falling in addition to a 0.5 per cent drop in mobile phone plan prices, the second monthly decline in a row. Food price inflation was at 4.7% in January.

Ken Matheny, executive director of US economics at Macroeconomic Advisers by IHS Markit, said, "The CPI for apparel continued to rebound from soft readings late previous year".

Gas prices and the cost of hospital services declined, but apparel prices and auto insurance rates spiked, which ticked the overall rate higher, Bank of Montreal economist Robert Kavcic noted.

Along with the Quick Estimates of IIP for the month of January 2018, the indices for December 2017 have undergone the first revision and those for October 2017 have undergone the final revision in the light of the updated data received from the source agencies, as per CSO.

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