India’s inflation rate still high

India’s inflation remained stubbornly close to double-digits in September, and economists on said on Oct. 14 that a 13th rate hike loomed despite a slowing of Asia’s third-largest economy.

The Reserve Bank of India has raised interest rates 12 times since March 2010 — the most aggressive tightening pace of any central bank globally — and will decide whether to hike interest rates again at a meeting on Oct. 25.

Annual inflation, measured by the closely watched Wholesale Price Index, fell marginally to 9.72 percent in September from its August level of 9.78 percent, data showed.

But it was still significantly above the central bank’s comfort zone of six percent.

“Another rate hike looks likely in view of persistently high inflation. The downside risks to growth are rising, but inflation is offering no comfort,” Crisil ratings agency chief economist D.K. Joshi told AFP.

India’s figures coincided with the release of China’s key inflation measure which remained elevated in September at 6.1 percent.

High inflation in the emerging market giants gives them little space to ease tight credit policies that might help support stuttering growth in advanced economies, analysts say.

Friday, October 14, 2011
NEW DELHI – Agence France-Presse