With spike in food, vegetable prices, retail inflation hits seven-month high

INFLATION remained at a five-year high of three per cent last month, putting continued strain on the budgets of United Kingdom households.

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 past year.

Growth in the cost of living rose to 4.1 per cent in October, the highest rate since September 2013, which impacts poorer people in particular.

A study of government data suggests that the retail inflation would have been much higher if the price of pulses had not fallen by 23 per cent on account of bumper crop this year.

"There is, however, a low likelihood of a rate cut by the RBI in the immediate term", said Aditi Nayar, an economist at Icra adding that inflationary expectations could remain high in the second half of the fiscal year that ends in March.

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The BoE tightened borrowing costs to 0.50 percent from a record-low of 0.25 percent, with Britain's inflation far above the central bank's 2.0-percent target rate. "Similarly, the policymakers should check and address prices of products, including paddy, that are hovering at higher levels and are also of national importance", said Rawat.

Consumer price inflation for the rural areas stood at 3.36 per cent in October against 3.15 per cent in September and 3.15 per cent in October 2016. Secondly, the GST Council has drastically cut the GST rates... that is likely to have a subduing effect on retail inflation in the coming months.

"Firming up of crude prices has led to increase in fuel inflation to 6.36 per cent in October 17 from 5.56 per cent in September 17".

People bore the brunt of higher vegetable prices.

The government data released today showed that inflation in food articles more than doubled to 4.30 percent in October.

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