Retail inflation cools to 13-month low; creates room for more rate cut

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

PTI| Updated: Oct 13, 2016, 23:20 PM IST
PlayRetail inflation cools to 13-month low; creates room for more rate cut

New Delhi: Retail inflation in September dropped to 13-month low of 4.31 percent, 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 percent in August. It was 4.41 percent in September 2015. The previous low of 3.74 percent was recorded in August last year.

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

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

Earlier this month RBI had cut the key interest by 0.25 percent to 6.25 percent. 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 percent. The vegetable inflation was 1.02 percent 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 percent 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 percent and GDP to grow at 7.9 percent in fiscal 2017," it said.

ICRA said it continues to expect CPI 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 percent 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 CPI based inflation in fuel and light segment was up at 3.07 percent in September in comparison to 2.49 in August.

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

Rural retail inflation was 4.96 percent in comparison to 5.87 percent in August.