High cereal prices push up inflation to 9.75% in Oct

High prices of cereals pose to be another headache for the government which is already trying to keep inflation under control in other food items like sugar, vegetables and pulses.

Retail level prices of cereals stayed stubbornly in double digits to touch 11.82 per cent in October, as per data released on consumer price index (CPI) based inflation. This is significantly higher than the 10.23 per cent it notched last month.

Meanwhile, on an all-India basis, retail inflation inched closer to double digits at 9.75 per cent in October as against 9.73 per cent in September. More worryingly, CPI inflation in rural areas rose to almost 10 per cent after prices of sugar, fats, pulses and vegetables saw a significant increase.

But even as rural areas saw a spurt in CPI inflation at 9.98 per cent in October as against 9.79 per cent in September, prices in urban areas eased last month.

Retail inflation in urban areas stood at 9.46 per cent in October as against 9.72 per cent in the previous month on the back of a significant easing in prices of vegetables and fruits. Prices of other food items including pulses, oils, egg, fish and meat as well as milk products also declined in urban areas.

The persistent rise in consumer prices is likely to add to the Centre's woes, which is pitching for a cut in lending rates in order to spur growth, even as the central bank has stuck to its hawkish stance.

On an all-India basis, the highest rise in prices during October was recorded by sugar, up 19.61 per cent, year-on-year basis.

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