U.S. Inflation Supports Fed's Promise of Patience

11/01/2019 13:31:03 Economic Indicators

U.S. consumer prices rose in line with expectations in December, underlining the case for the Federal Reserve to keep its current policy outlook stable.

The consumer price index rose 1.9% from a year ago, while core inflation, that excludes volatile food and energy costs, increased 2.2%.

Both readings matched the reading in the prior month and were in line with consensus forecasts.

Markets showed little reaction to the data with U.S. stock futures and the U.S. dollar holding lower, while the yield on the 10-year Treasury fell and gold maintained gains.

"Such data are not expected to alter the Fed's reaction function," Allianz chief economic adviser Mohamed El-Erian explained after the report.

The Fed usually tries to aim for 2% core inflation or less.

Fed chairman Jerome Powell made remarks Thursday that served as another sign that policymakers are in no hurry to hike rates as they look to have a better handle on whether slowing global growth and financial market volatility will negatively impact the U.S. economy.

“Especially with inflation low and under control we have the ability to be patient and watch patiently and carefully as we ... figure out which of these two narratives is going to be the story of 2019,” Powell said.