BENGALURU (Reuters) - India's annual consumer price inflation accelerated in April to 4.58 percent, after easing for three straight months, data from the Ministry of Statistics showed on Monday, mainly driven by faster hikes in fuel prices.
The median forecast in the poll of nearly 30 economists was for April's annual rate of consumer inflation to rise to 4.42 percent from 4.28 percent in the previous month.
SUMEDH DEORUKHKAR, SENIOR ECONOMIST, BBVA, HONG KONG
"We continue to expect a pre-emptive rate hike by the Reserve Bank of India at its August policy meeting. Whether the hike will be one-off or followed up by another hike this year would be data-dependent. Nevertheless, chances of two rate hikes in 2018 have increased.
"We remain comfortable with our fiscal year-end average inflation forecast of 5.1 percent. The bias remains on upside risks, largely led by higher oil prices and a stronger cyclical recovery in activity.
"We think RBI would revise its inflation forecast higher. Global growth momentum remains strong despite trade tensions; oil prices are edging up on geopolitical risks and domestic demand and investments are in recovery mode.
"Underlying inflation pressures are mainly demand-driven, backed by the ongoing cyclical recovery in consumption and investment. Core inflation would firm up further as the combination of higher commodity prices and improving demand abet labour costs going forward."
(Reporting by Vishal Sridhar in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)
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