India's January inflation pace drops; RBI could cut rates again

14 February, 2019, 08:15 | Author: Eric Barnett
  • Retail inflation eases to 2.05% in January

Consumer inflation stood at a provisional 2.05 per cent in January, its lowest level recorded since June 2017, government data showed on Tuesday.

At the pumps, motorists had lower fuel costs last month, with petrol down by 2.1p per litre on the month to 119.6p.

Inflation was largely lowered by prices for electricity and gas following an Ofgem cap on standard variable tariffs that decreased price increases in that category from 8.1pc to 1.4pc.

Head of inflation at ONS Mike Hardie said: "The fall in inflation is due mainly to cheaper gas, electricity and petrol, partly offset by rising ferry ticket prices and air fares falling more slowly than this time past year".

This breaking news story is being updated and more details will be published shortly.

Thirteen out of the 23 industry groups in the manufacturing sector showed positive growth in December compared to the same month the previous year.

The CPI including owner-occupiers' housing costs (CPIH) - the ONS's preferred measure of inflation - was 1.8 per cent in January, down from 2 per cent in December.


The top two year fix from Gatehouse Bank pays 2.35 per cent, now some 0.55 percentage points above inflation.

The retail inflation number was much lower than the market expectations, said Tushar Arora, a senior economist at HDFC Bank.

Consumer price changes are important for the economy because inflation is a subtraction in the calculation of real GDP growth, so rising price pressures can depress economic growth and vice versa. City economists think so.

Consumer prices rose at an annual rate of 1.8 percent, down from December's 2.1 percent, as a new government cap on household power bills kicked in.

That difference is now negligible, helping the Bank of England as it holds off on fresh interest rate hikes pending the outcome of Britain's Brexit stand-off with the rest of the EU.

Mumbai: India's headline and core inflation rates are set to converge in the coming months as the economy slows, increasing the chance of more interest rate cuts.

If the Withdrawal Agreement is not ratified before March 29 then the United Kingdom will automatically leave the European Union and default to doing business with it on World Trade Organization (WTO) terms, which analysts say would be bad for the economy.

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