Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Consumer prices unchanged in US, fall in euro area, housing markets show strength

A report on Tuesday showed that US consumer prices were flat in November after having fallen 0.1 percent in October. That helped push the annual inflation rate to 1.2 percent last month from 1.0 percent in the previous month, which had been the smallest increase since October 2009.

Another report from the US on Tuesday showed that the NAHB/Wells Fargo housing market index rose to 58 from 54 in November.

A report from the euro area on Tuesday showed that consumer prices there fell 0.1 in November. That kept the annual inflation rate at 0.9 percent after it had fallen below 1 percent to 0.7 percent for the first time since February 2010 in October.

In the UK, inflation fell to 2.1 percent in November, the lowest since November 2009, from 2.2 percent in October.

Even as UK consumer price inflation slowed, house price inflation has proven more persistent. House prices across Britain rose by 5.5 percent in the 12 months to October, the fastest increase since September 2010.

Apparently, maintaining moderate consumer price inflation is more important than restraining asset prices in the minds of central banks.

Sweden's Riksbank cut its repo rate by 25 basis points to 0.75 percent on Tuesday as it said that inflation was likely to be much lower in the year ahead than it had anticipated in recent forecasts even as it now expected bigger increases in house prices and debt than it had forecast in October.

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