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Inflation - does anyone care?

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  • Local news agencies report that China's 2014 growth target will be kept at 7.5% (the official announcement is not due until March). If so that would raise questions about how vigorous the reform program is likely to be - growth that high is not considered compatible with the creative destruction of reform.
  • Australia's government revealed a fiscal position and a fiscal outlook that have deteriorated quite significantly. Markets will focus their attention on the prospects for reform in the budget due next May.
  • UK consumer, producer and retail prices are all due, but none seem to be a particular focus for the Bank of England (house prices seem more important). Energy prices have been a political concern however, and so that detail might attract media attention.
  • Euro area consumer prices are due, but the deflation risks do not really lie in the aggregate data so much as in the details (deflation is possible in specific Euro countries). US consumer prices are seen soft on weaker energy prices, but this should not deter a January taper from the Fed.

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