India Faces Rising Inflation in November: Onions and Pulses Drive Up Consumer Prices

India Faces Rising Inflation in November: Onions and Pulses Drive Up Consumer Prices
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In November, India’s retail inflation is anticipated to increase, mainly due to higher prices of vegetables like onions and pulses. Economists estimate the Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation to be around 5.78%, compared to 4.87% in October. Despite staying within the central bank’s tolerance band in September and October, inflation is expected to rise to 6% in November.

The surge is largely driven by a spike in food inflation, projected to reach 9.2% in November, up from 6.2% in October. Vegetable prices, particularly onions, saw a substantial month-on-month increase of nearly 59%. Uneven rainfall and delayed monsoon impacted crop cycles, resulting in tighter supplies.

Despite government measures like export restrictions on onions and releasing buffer stocks, the inflationary impact persists. Pulses, especially tur dal, face upward price pressure due to lower kharif output. Increased pulse imports, even after abolishing import duties, are unlikely to bridge the demand-supply gap, keeping pulses inflation in double digits.

On the positive side, global commodity prices have eased, and crude oil prices declined significantly. While fuel and light are expected to remain in deflation, core inflation is likely to remain stable. The Reserve Bank of India projects CPI inflation at 5.6% in the third quarter ending December and at 5.2% in the fourth quarter.

In summary, India’s inflation is set to rise in November, driven by elevated food prices, particularly onions and pulses, despite government interventions. Global factors like softer commodity prices provide some relief, but concerns persist about the sustainability of inflation levels.

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