Food prices spike Oct retail inflation to 4.62%

Inflation falls to three-year low of 1.5%

United Kingdom inflation increased at its slowest rate in nearly three years in October after the energy regulator lowered price caps, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Annual retail inflation rose to 4.62% last month, up from 3.99% in the prior month and higher than the 4.25% forecast in a Reuters poll of analysts.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) mainly factors in the retail inflation while deciding the bi-monthly monetary policy.

The fall in United Kingdom inflation could fan expectations that the Bank of England might cut interest rates, City analysts have said.

The target is set within a band of +/- 2 per cent.

The earlier high was reported in June 2018 when the retail inflation print was recorded at 4.92 percent.

For the 12 months through October, CPI is now up 1.8% - higher than expectations for 1.7%. Food basket prices were the hardest hit, rising by 7.89 per cent, according to government data released on Wednesday.

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Gas and electricity prices dropped 4.4% between October and September, leaving them 1.9% lower than a year earlier. Core inflation, excluding food and oil, for October stood at 3.5 per cent against 4 per cent in September.

The decrease, which dragged inflation levels to a near three-year low, suggested households will be more able to splash out ahead of next month's general election and the festive period.

Core inflation is an indication of demand for goods and the results go to show that the rise in food prices was on account of a shortage in supply rather than an increase in demand.

The floods in Maharashtra and other states had led to an increase in prices of onions and other farm produce across the country.

CPIH inflation, The ONS' headline measure which includes owner occupiers' housing costs, was also 1.5% in October, down from 1.7% the previous month.

"With economic growth slowdown, India Ratings and Research believes growth concerns will dominate in RBIs monetary policy review and RBI to continue with accommodative policy and expect further rate cut in the policy review of December 2019", Pant told BusinessLine.

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