Retail inflation in October accelerates at 3.58% on rising food prices

The GST Council’s decision to cut tax rates on 177 items from 28% to 18% is expected to partially ease inflation going ahead

The GST Council’s decision to cut tax rates on 177 items from 28% to 18% is expected to partially ease inflation going ahead

Consumer Price Index (Combined) stood at 3.58% in October from 3.28% a month ago, the Central Statistics Office said.

Food, fuel and housing prices pushed India's annual retail inflation rate higher in October, official data showed on Monday.

The rise, despite a high base effect, was mainly on account of increase in prices of vegetables, which rose 3.8% month on month.

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Vegetables prices witnessed a negative growth of 3.77 percent in October as compared with 4 percent in September.

Meanwhile, core inflation eased slightly in the month to 4.55 percent in October from September's 4.61 percent. Moreover, the pass-through of the goods and services tax (GST) to final prices of various goods and services may not be complete.

"We continue to expect an extended pause amid non-unanimous voting by the MPC (Monetary Policy Committee) in the December 2017 policy review", said Aditi Nayar, principal economist at rating company ICRA Ltd. The panel left rates unchanged in its October review.

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Retail inflation, a key input for the Reserve Bank of India in setting the key interest rate, has been rising consistently since June amid a slowdown in factory output measured on Index of Industrial Production (IIP). However, there is a risk that a surge in crude oil prices and recent softness in the Indian rupee might affect the imported inflation component.

"Additionally, the HRA revision at the state level may have a similar impact as that at the central government level, on the housing inflation", she added.

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