Maybe I'm dating myself here, but I have always been of the mindset that raises are based on responsibilities, and not necessarily on individual performance.
My experience with raises has always been that they come either at the end of a probationary hiring period (typically 6 months), or at the same time as a promotion with increased responsibilities. Having your pay adjusted to be commensurate with inflation seems to be just that - an adjustment.
I believe your HR department is making a small mistake in making the adjustment coincident with your review, and that's why you are feeling that your review was "negative."
You've been there 8 months, and got a positive review. That's great. Your company is adjusting your pay to compensate for currency devaluation (what most people think inflation is). That's great. I don't think the two should be tied together, and what you're feeling now is the reason why.
Were I you, I would spend another 8 to 12 months becoming the best employee in your group, and then approach your manager about a lead developer role, if your structure has such a thing. That would be when to expect a significant increase.
- My opinions and experiences. Your mileage may vary.