Thursday, 25 May, 2017

Inflation figures set to hit three-year high

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Julia Daniel | 14 February, 2017, 00:49

The official data disclosed that prices of vegetable plunged by (-) 15.62 per cent on a year-on-year (YoY) basis, whereas cost of pulses dropped by (-) 6.62 per cent.

The consumer price index (CPI), a main gauge of inflation, is expected to hit 2.6 percent in January, higher than the 2.1-percent increase in December, according to forecasts by four financial institutions.

Howard Archer, chief United Kingdom economist at forecaster IHS Global Insight, said: 'Inflation is expected to have been lifted in January by higher fuel prices and increased food prices'.

The fall in inflation has been mainly on account of falling prices of vegetables and pulses with the arrival of the winter crop. Pressure continued to mount on the sugar and confectionary sector where prices rose 18.7%.

Overall, Consumer Food Price Index was down at 0.53% in January as against 1.37% in December. Economists expect retail inflation to inch upwards in the months ahead.

Wednesday, February 15TatsSA will release the latest inflation rate data for January, as well as the retail sales figures for December 2016. Food prices have also been easing for six consecutive months.

However, core inflation-the inflation rate excluding food and fuel inflation-inched higher to 5.1 per cent in January 2017 from 4.9 per cent last month. The urban inflation recorded at 3.17 per cent in the month under-review against 4.81 per cent.

Reserve Bank Of India Governor Urjit Patel had noted on Saturday that "CPI ex-food and fuel has been hard to bring down since September", and it is necessary that this inflation goes down for headline inflation to move towards 4% inflation on a durable basis.

"Higher global commodity prices will get ingrained in these components, while food items will be unaffected", Madan Sabnavis, chief economist at Care Ratings, said.

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