India’s retail inflation rose to 7.61% in October, from 7.27% in September, data released by the government on Thursday showed. September’s figure has been revised from 7.34% to 7.27%.
This is the highest level of retail inflation in the country since May 2014, according to Bloomberg. The figure in October 2019 was 4.62%.
The rise in inflation was mainly driven by elevated food prices. It grew beyond the Reserve Bank of India’s 6% upper margin. The Centre had mandated that retail inflation be kept within a 4% range, with a 2% margin on each side.
The data released on Thursday showed that the Consumer Food Price Index rose to 11.07% in October, from 10.68% in September.
Inflation in food and beverages category was 10.16% in October, up from 9.73% in September. The prices of vegetables, on the other hand, rose to 22.51% from 20.73% in September. The cost of pulses rose to 18.34% in October, from 14.67% in September.
Anagha Deodhar, an economist at ICICI Securities, told Reuters that high food inflation was likely to continue in the future. “High food inflation despite easing restrictions and improving mobility numbers indicates the problem is more complex and likely to persist in the near future,” Deodhar said.
The government had suspended the release of retail inflation data for April and May, citing inadequate data collection during the coronavirus-induced lockdown. However, in April it had revised the consumer price inflation to a final 5.84% for March, from the provisional 5.91%.