Thursday, 23 November, 2017

Inflation hits seven-month high of 3.58pc in October

Recovering food prices lift retail inflation to a seven-month high in October Inflation hits seven-month high of 3.58pc in October
Preston Stone | 14 November, 2017, 02:22

This month the Consumer food price index (CFPI) stood at 1.90% compared to 1.25% of September 2017 and 3.32% of October 2016.

Food inflation rose 1.9% in October, higher than September's 1.3%, while housing inflation touched a 40-month high of 6.7% due to revision of rent allowance for employees of the central government. The Reserve Bank of India targets a retail inflation rate of 4%, with a tolerance band of 2%-6%.

However, on a year-on-year (YoY) basis, the CPI inflation last month was lower than 4.20 per cent recorded in October 2016.

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Data further showed that retail inflation in eggs, vegetables, pulses and spices were -0.69%, 7.47%, -23.13% and -2.15%, respectively. Crude prices have rallied, sending Brent crude to its highest since June 2015, a worry given that India imports most of its energy needs.

The prices of pan, tobacco and intoxicants saw a sharp rise of 6.91 per cent in October. "There is, however, a low likelihood of a rate cut by the RBI in the immediate term", said Aditi Nayar, an economist at Icra adding that inflationary expectations could remain high in the second half of the fiscal year that ends in March. Moreover, the pass-through of the goods and services tax (GST) to final prices of various goods and services may not be complete.

Retail inflation has been steadily rising since June, when it eased to 1.46 per cent - its slowest pace since India started releasing such figures in January 2012, based on combined data for rural and urban consumers.

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