Inflation hits seven-month high of 3.58pc in October

Wholesale inflation rose to six month high of 3.59 percent in October as prices of food articles, led by onion and vegetables, witnessed a sharp rise.

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) and the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, in a latest report, said the Consumer Price Index (CPI) based inflation was 3.28 per cent in September, 4.2 per cent in October a year ago.

Retail inflation has been steadily rising since June, when it eased to 1.46 percent - its slowest pace since India started releasing such figures in January 2012, based on combined data for rural and urban consumers. However, fruits were comparably cheaper in October on a sequential basis.

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Soumya Kanti Ghosh, Group Chief Economic Adviser of the State Bank of India, said in the SBI Ecoflash report: "Compared to September 17, the increase in food, fuel and housing prices contributed to the increase in overall inflation". The average price of the Indian basket of crude oil rose to $56.06 a barrel in October from $54.52 in September. "Similarly, the policymakers should check and address prices of products, including paddy, that are hovering at higher levels and are also of national importance", said Rawat. "However, cut in excise duty announced by the government tempered the price increase in fuel".

Sub-category of food and beverages during the month under consideration recorded a rise of 2.26 per cent over the same period previous year. "Our quantitative analysis suggests that if (a big if) the GST tax changes are fully passed on to consumers, they would lower CPI inflation by estimated 20 basis points", Nomura said. "However, the RBI rate decision may still predicate on the Fed trajectory".

The absence of another rate rise in the coming months would ease the pressure on households, which are seeing wages growth failing to keep pace with high inflation.

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