IndiaEs inflation trend is uncomfortably high which will restrict the Reserve Bank’s ability to offer further rate cuts, Moody’s Analytics said. In a note, Moody’s Analytics cited that retail inflation has held above the Reserve Bank’s 4 percent target for the past eight months.
Accordingly, IndiaEs core CPI excluding food, fuel, and the light was up 5.6 percent in February, from 5.3 percent in January.
On an overall basis, IndiaEs CPI rose to 5 percent YoY in February from 4.1 percent in January.
Food and beverage price growth gained 4.3 percent from 2.7 percent in January.
“Food is a key driver of inflation, representing 46 percent of the CPI basket.
“Volatile food prices and rising oil prices led IndiaEs CPI to exceed the upper band of 6 percent several times in 2020, inhibiting the RBIEs ability to keep accommodative monetary settings in place during the height of the pandemic.”
As per the note, higher fuel prices will keep upward pressure on headline CPI and keep the RBI from offering further rate cuts.
“The RBI has a target for retail inflation of 4 percent with a margin of 2 percent either side.”
“The RBI is expected to retain its current inflation-targeting band beyond its current expiry date of 31 March. The government is reportedly mulling small amendments including increasing flexibility in exceptional times.”