Retail inflation rises to 7.61% in October

NEW DELHI: Retail inflation based on consumer price index (CPI) rose to 7.61 per cent in the month of October as against 7.27 per cent in September mainly on account of rising food prices, data released by government showed on Thursday.
Inflation figures for the month of September was revised marginally downwards from 7.34 per cent to 7.27 per cent. The number stood at 4.62 per cent in October 2019.
As per the data, consumer food price index (CFPI) rose to 11.07 per cent in October, up from 10.68 per cent in the previous month of September.
Disruption from by the coronavirus pandemic and excessive rainfall in states such as Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh have damaged and delayed the harvesting of onions – a key ingredient in Indian kitchens – alongside other vegetables.
Supply distortions have led to a surge in vegetable prices, thereby lowering the chances of further interest rate cuts by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
Inflation figures in October have remained above 7 per cent for the second straight month and above the RBI’s comfort leverl for the seventh consecutive time. RBI’s monetary policy committee (MPC) has been tasked by the government to tame retail inflation based on CPI at 4 per cent (+,-2 per cent).
The RBI mainly factors in the retail inflation while arriving at its bi-monthly monetary policy.
The central bank has eased its key repo rate by 115 basis points (bps) since March, and is widely expected to wait until February before cutting the rate again amid worries over higher inflation.
In its previous monetary policy meet held in October, the RBI decided to keep policy repo rate unchanged at 4 per cent. RBI governor Shaktikanta Das had said that retail inflation is expected to remain close to the targeted level by the last quarter of the current year.
In a separate set of data released by the government, industrial production remained flat at 0.2 per cent growth in September, despite higher output of mining and power generation sectors. The IIP had contracted by 4.6 per cent in September 2019.
The output of mining and power segments grew at 1.4 per cent and 4.9 per cent, respectively.
With the gradual relaxation of restrictions, there has been a relative improvement in the economic activities by varying degrees as well as in data reporting, the ministry of statistics and programme implementation said in a statement.
(With agency inputs)

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