U.S. Consumer Prices Edged Higher in August

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media caption Can India's economy keep up its current growth rate

Retail inflation, measured by Consumer Price Index (CPI), had hit a nine-month low of 4.17 percent in July and 3.28 percent in August 2017.

Retail inflation came in at a 10-month low of 3.69 per cent for August as compared to 4.17 per cent in the previous month.

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A poll by CNBC-TV18 had expected inflation to be in the range of 3.5 to 3.8 percent.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will be considering this set of data for formulating its next bi-monthly monetary policy on 5 October.

On balance, the scales appear tipped towards a third consecutive rate hike in the October policy review, along with a change in stance to withdrawal of accommodation, unless crude oil prices and the rupee record an appreciable reversal in the intervening period, she said. Capital goods production grew by 3 percent in July as against decline of 1.1 percent year ago.

This could be temporary as a weakening rupee and rising crude oil prices would boost consumer prices.

Food inflation slowed to 0.29 percent from a year earlier, against 1.37 percent in July.

The RBI, which next meets on 5 October, has raised its benchmark rate by a total of 50 basis points at its past two meetings, to 6.5%, while warning about inflationary pressures.

While oil prices have risen almost 15 percent this year, the rupee touched an all-time low of 72.78 per dollar on Wednesday and was expected to hover near there on a worsening trade balance. The tumble has sparked discontent in a country that relies heavily on imports for its fuel needs.

Core inflation, which excludes the volatile food and fuel sectors, was seen at around 6%, easing slightly from 6.3% in July, according to analysts.

The IMF expects the central bank to gradually tighten monetary policy in order to tame inflation.

However, Devendra Pant, chief economist at India Ratings, said a robust GDP growth in the first quarter coupled with declining inflation trajectory should make the RBI optimistic about the economy and hold on the policy rate in the forthcoming policy review in view of two back-to-back hikes.

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