New Delhi: Deflationary trend continued for the 12th month in a row with WPI inflation at (-)3.81% in October, mainly on account of subdued prices of food items although pulses and onion turned costlier.
Inflation based on Wholesale Price Index has been in the negative zone since November last year. It was (-)4.54% in September. In October last year, it was 1.66%.
Pulses and Onion among the food items category turned costlier with inflation at 52.98% and 85.66% respectively during October.
Despite the sharp rise in prices of various pulses and the concerns generated by the unfavourable monsoon, overall food inflation remained muted in October, ICRA Senior Economist Aditi Nayar said.
The rate of price rise in case of vegetables was at 2.56% as against (-)19.37% in the same month last year, as per official data released on Monday.
Besides pulses and onion, the food items which became dearer in October were milk (1.75%) and wheat (4.68%). However, inflation rate in case of potato was in the negative zone, (-)58.95%.
Inflation rate in fuel and power segment was (-)16.32%, while that in manufactured products was (-)1.67% in October.
The Reserve Bank would take into account WPI number for October while deciding on the key interest rate in its December 1 monetary policy review.
Most of the analysts feel that RBI is unlikely to cut the rate in its upcoming policy review.
RBI mostly tracks the Consumer Price Index-based retail inflation for its monetary policy decisions.
Rising for the third straight month, retail inflation has climbed to 5% in October, as against 4.62% in the same month a year ago due to costlier pulses and other food items.