August 21, 2012 / 5:52 AM / 5 years ago

July consumer inflation eases to 9.86 pct

A cook prepares local cuisine, Pav Bhaji, at a beachside restaurant in Mumbai June 24, 2010.Danish Siddiqui/Files

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's annual consumer price inflation slowed slightly in July to 9.86 percent, helped by a drop in petrol prices at the pump, government data showed on Tuesday, but a drought in parts of the country pushed food prices higher.

India has the highest retail inflation among the BRICS group of emerging economies - Brazil, Russia, China, and South Africa -- and is way above what the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) calls its comfort level.

RBI's next policy review will be on September 17.

Food prices for consumers accelerated to 11.53 in July from 10.71 percent in June.

Inflation as measured by India's benchmark wholesale price index dropped to 6.87 percent in June, nearly three-year low, helped by slower increases in fuel prices, data on August 14 showed.

Unlike most central banks, the Reserve Bank of India mainly uses the wholesale price index for monitoring inflation. Annual consumer price inflation data was only launched this year.

Reporting by Manoj Kumar; Editing by Jijo Jacob

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