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Asian shares slip after rate jitters pull Wall Street lower

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By ELAINE KURTENBACH

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The latest report on the U.S. consumer price index is due later Friday morning

Good Friday morning.

And the numbers are in: The U.S. inflation rate MoM is up 1%, well over last month’s rise of .3%, and well over the forecast 0.6%. Which lead to YoY rate of 8.6%, a modest jump from 8.3% from the consensus and the forecast of 8.3%. Core inflation MoM came in at 0.6%, slightly down from the forecast 0.8%, but in line with last. Core inflation YoY came in at 6%, in line with forecast.

Result: The dollar index extended gains to approach 104 on Friday, close to levels not seen in about 20 years. The major U.S. stock markets are trending down as of a minute ago.

India watch. Industrial production YoY came in today at a whopping 7.1%, well above projected consensus of 5.1%, while manufacturing production came in at an impressive 6.3%, well above consensus .7%. About those numbers: Industrial output accelerated for all sectors, BUT fell 9.2% monthly when compared to the 12.9% surge seen last month. While manufacturing gains were attributed to increased production of wearing apparel, coke, refined petroleum products, and basic metals.

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For those who keep track of some historic highs and lows, some important side notes:

The U.S. annual inflation rate, as just reported at 8.6%, is the highest since December 1981. Energy prices rose 34.6%, the most since September 2005. Gasoline (48.7%) and fuel oil (106.7%) are the most on record. Electricity (12%), is the highest since August 2006, and natural gas (30.2%) is highest July 2008.

U.S. food prices zoomed up 10.1%, the first double digit increase since 1981. Also housing; shelter contributed a 5.5% rise, the most since 1991.

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One more note, this from the U.S.

The Michigan consumer sentiment index in the US fell sharply to a record low of 50.2 in June, according to preliminary figures released today. Considerably below forecasts of 58. The current economic conditions subindex sank to an all-time low of 55.4, from 63.3 previously, and the expectations gauge plunged to 46.8, the lowest since May of 1980. Consumer assessments about their personal financial situation worsened about 20%.

Worse, still: Nearly half (46%) of consumers attributed their negative views to inflation, the biggest share since 1981, during the Great Recession.

Reminder: This is a widely anticipated index, which reflects how U.S. consumers view prospects for their own financial situation, how they view prospects for the general economy over the near term, and their view of prospects for the economy over the long term.

Not good news, since consumers are largely holding this economy together just right now.

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