India’s inflation drops a tad in October

New Delhi, Nov 15 (IANS) India’s annual rate of inflation based on wholesale prices fell marginally to 8.58 percent in October from 8.62 in the month before even as the indices for all the three major commodity groups registered a rise, official data said Monday.

As a result, the inflation rate stood at a nine-month low. The rate of rise in prices as measured by wholesale prices has eased in the past few weeks due to aggressive monetary tightening policy adopted by the country’s central bank.

As per data released by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the index for primary articles rose 0.8 percent during the month, while those for fuels and manufactured products were up 0.3 percent each.

Both the government and the central bank have expressed concern over the inflation rate — which is at least four percent higher than the comfort zone of around 4 percent — and have taken steps to curb the price rise.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) hiked both its short-term borrowing and lending rates by 25 basis points each Nov 2 tweaking its policy rates for the sixth time since the start of this calendar year to curb inflationary expectations.

‘Although the headline inflation has moderated in recent months, the current rate of inflation is still well above the comfort zone,’ RBI Governor D. Subbarao said after the second quarter review of the monetary policy for this fiscal.

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