MUMBAI Feb 13 India's annual consumer price
inflation eased to 3.17 percent in January, its
lowest level in at least five years, helped by a sharp cooling
in food prices, government data showed on Monday.
Economists polled by Reuters expected last month's annual
retail inflation to come in at 3.22 percent, compared with 3.41
percent in December.
Food inflation was 0.53 percent last month, lower than a
revised 1.37 percent in December.
India began measuring consumer inflation at the start of
ANJALI VERMA, ECONOMIST, PHILLIPCAPITAL INDIA
Core CPI is 5.10 percent, which is of course on the higher
side. So, that justifies the argument that RBI has been making
that core inflation is sticky. Therefore, there is no scope for
Inflation in the coming months is expected to be much below
RBI's trajectory. Until the first half of FY18, I'm expecting
all-in-all inflation to be at least a percent and more below
SUVODEEP RAKSHIT, SENIOR ECONOMIST, KOTAK INSTITUTIONAL
I don't think the central bank is going to cut rates anytime
soon. They have already factored in inflation rates and they
will apply a wait and watch policy to check core inflation
I expect a core inflation rate of 4.9 percent
Going forward, key risks are commodity prices and food
inflation over the next six months given the the monsoon
TIRTHANKAR PATNAIK, INDIA STRATEGIST, MIZUHO BANK, MUMBAI
Inflation rate is lower than market expectations. Based on
this data, we do not expect RBI to cut rates in the near term.
Going forward, RBI's focus will definitely be on inflation as
the central bank is quite comfortable in meeting their growth
VARUN KHANDELWAL, MANAGING DIRECTOR, BULLERO CAPITAL:
RBI will continue to hold, RBI is seeing upside risks to
inflation and one data point is not going to change their view
dramatically. They're looking at possible food and fuel
inflation and inflation related to commodity prices.
Interest rates will remain on hold in the near term.
Key risk to inflation going forward is international
commodity prices, primarly the price of oil... Oil has been
consistently in mid 50s for some time. If oil were to go further
up, we could see more inflation.
TUSHAR ARORA, SENIOR ECONOMIST, HDFC BANK
As expected, the decline in food prices continued to push
overall inflation lower in January. However, the core component
and services sector inflation remained sticky at higher levels.
While there is likely to be a sense of comfort in the near-term,
there are factors that can push inflation higher six to seven
months down the line. Despite a somewhat comforting inflation
print today, the RBI is unlikely to shift its policy stance
towards further accommodation.
(Reporting by Bengaluru and Mumbai newsrooms; Editing by Biju