Rising food prices keep inflation at five-year high

Wednesday, 15 Nov, 2017

The consumer prices index held steady at three per cent in October, figures by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed, after rising by its most in more than five years in September.

The retail inflation rose up to seven-month high to 3.58 in October due to the high prices of food items, especially vegetables, eggs, milk and their products, and tobacco products and housing sector.

Meanwhile, Jacob Deppe, head of trading at online trading platform Infinox, suggested the latest inflation data is likely to ease the pressure for another interest rate rise in the next few months.

The CPI inflation for October rose to 3.58 per cent from 3.28 per cent reported for September, data released on Monday revealed.

The prices of food products, which have the highest weightage in the product basket that determines the inflation number, grew 2.26 per cent. The previous high was 3.89 per cent in March this year. The prices of housing has risen by 6.68 per cent followed by fuel and light at 6.36 per cent, clothing and footwear by 4.76 per cent. The main reason was vegetable prices, with inflation in these up from 3.92 per cent to 7.4 per cent. Onions and tomatoes appear the main causes, though the government did not issue the details.

Separately, annual industrial output INIP=ECI grew a lower-than-expected 3.8 percent in September, compared with the forecast of 4.2 percent by economists in a Reuters poll, data released on Friday showed.

Some analysts expect India's decision on Friday to slash tax rates on 178 items such as chocolates and detergent powders to 18 percent from 28 percent could marginally lower retail inflation in coming months.

Ratings agency Crisil said: "In the months ahead, inflation could see an upside from further rise in oil prices and higher household spending led by implementation of farm loan waiver and an expected upward revision in salary and allowances of state government employees".