Inflation slows to 7.45% in October
Analysts in a Reuters poll had predicted inflation to have hit an 11-month high of 7.96% in October after it scaled a ten-month peak of 7.81% in September. Inflation had touched 9.87% in October last year.
The drop in inflation would exert renewed pressure on the Reserve Bank Of India (RBI) to take steps to complement the government’s recent push for growth, especially after Monday’s data revealed industrial production contracted by 0.4% in September and grew by merely 0.1% during the April-September period.
Last month, the central bank defied the finance ministry’s expectations of a rate cut to trim firms’ borrowing costs, but RBI governor D Subbarao hinted at some sort of explicit policy guidance, saying the central bank might ease policy in the final quarter of this fiscal when it expects inflation to ease somewhat.
Although economists say the drop in inflation came as a pleasant surprise, mainly due to a decline in food inflation, they believe the RBI may still adopt a wait-and-watch approach to see if the fall is just a one-off or a trend before it decides on easing rates.
"Even at 7.45%, the inflation is still above the comfort zone (of the central bank) and RBI would want
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