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. 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 last year. The previous high was 3.89 per cent in March this year.
The CSO data says the October inflation for the food basket increased to 1.9 per cent. It was 1.25 per cent in September. The rate of price rise in the vegetable segment almost doubled to 7.47 per cent as against 3.92 per cent in September.
Higher inflation was also noted in protein rich items like oils and fats, eggs, and milk (and its products). However, fruits were comparably cheaper in October on sequential basis. Inflation in pulses continued to decline and settled at (-) 23.13 per cent. It was (-) 22.51 per cent in September. The inflation for sugar and confectionery items increased and settled at 6.75 per cent. Spices saw some decline in price and settled at (-) 2.15 points.
Pan, tobacco and intoxicants saw high inflation and settled at 6.91 per cent. Clothing and footwear (4.76), housing (6.68), and fuel and light (6.36) were costlier on sequential basis. Cereals and products also saw 3.68 per cent inflation.
All eyes will be on the current fiscal's sixth bi-monthly meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee, headed by RBI Governor Urjit Patel, on December 5-6. Retail inflation, a key input for RBI 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).