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Inflation cools to 13-mth low; creates room for more rate cut

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Retail in September dropped to 13-month low of 4.31 per cent, mainly on account of easing vegetables prices, creating headroom for further rate cut by Reserve Bank in coming months.

Retail inflation, measured by Consumer Price Index (CPI), was 5.05 per cent in August. It was 4.41 per cent in September 2015. The previous low of 3.74 per cent was recorded in August last year.

The Reserve Bank takes into account retail while deciding on its key lending rate. It has been mandated to contain at 4 per cent, within 2 per cent range on either side.

Food inflation, a key concern for policy makers, decelerated sharply to 3.88 per cent in September compared with 5.91 per cent in August.

Earlier this month RBI had cut the key interest by 0.25 per cent to 6.25 per cent. Now, with inflation easing further it may consider another cut in December monetary policy review to boost industrial growth, which is in the negative zone.

As per data released by the government, inflation in vegetable segment was in the negative, contracting 7.21 per cent. The vegetable inflation was 1.02 per cent in August.

Similarly, the pulses prices were subdued last month as also of egg and milk (and its products). Inflation in case of meat and fish basket was 5.83 per cent in September, marginally down over the previous month.

However, fruits became dearer in last month over the previous months.

Crisil said that in its view the good monsoon will also push up rural incomes and boost private consumption by 90 bps this fiscal, supporting GDP growth.

"Overall, we expect inflation to average 5 per cent and GDP to grow at 7.9 per cent in fiscal 2017," it said.

ICRA said it continues to expect inflation to track a "U-shaped trend" in the remainder of this fiscal, with a dip to 3.7% in November followed by a gentle uptrend to 5.0 per cent in March 2017, on account of the waning of base effect and impact of higher consumer demand on prices.

The data released by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation further said based inflation in fuel and light segment was up at 3.07 per cent in September in comparison to 2.49 in August.

The inflation in urban areas was 3.64 per cent in September as against 4.22 per cent in the previous month.

Rural retail inflation was 4.96 per cent in comparison to 5.87 per cent in August.

First Published: Thu, October 13 2016. 20:23 IST