POLL-Inflation likely to remain stable at 5.90% in December

By Madhumita Vikram Gokhale

Bangalore, Jan. 10 (Reuters)India’s retail inflation stabilized in December, staying within the Reserve Bank of India’s comfort zone for two months as a slowdown in food price gains was partially offset by higher core inflation. That’s according to a Reuters poll of economists.

A poll of 45 economists Jan 4-9 predicted consumer price inflation INCPIY=ECI December was 5.90%, little changed from November’s 11-month low of 5.88%.

If confirmed, inflation remains within the RBI’s comfort range of 2-6% for two months, but remains above the medium-term target of 4% for more than three years.

Forecasts ranged from 5.40% to 6.40%.

But wholesale inflation INWPI=ECI Last month it slowed to 5.60% a year ago, possibly down from 5.85% in November.

“I think the continued decline in food prices is likely to have a modest impact on inflation, but core inflation remains solid, so we haven’t seen a significant decline since the last meeting. And it’s It should provide a bottom,” said Sakshi Gupta, principal economist at HDFC Bank.

Stripped of volatile food and energy prices, core inflation, seen by central banks around the world as a better measure of the persistence of price pressures, remains high in India.

Most economists expect core inflation to remain firm over the next few months.

Recently, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das said the bank would continue. fight It opposes inflation even though the worst is “behind us”, suggesting the central bank is likely to remain hawkish in the short term.

“We have stressed that setting monetary policy in India will be a two-step process: first to keep inflation within tolerance and then to get closer to the 4% target,” said Aastha Gudwani, an Indian economist at BofA. rice field. stock.

“Despite reaching the first milestone, we still do not see CPI inflation falling to the 4% level, so we expect the RBI MPC to continue to raise rates further, albeit at a slower pace.”

(Reporting by Madhumita Gokhale; Poll by Anant Chandak, Susobhan Sarkar, and Veronica Khongwir; Editing by Hari Kishan and Jonathan Cable)


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