NEW DELHI: Retail inflation accelerated to an 8-month high in September and crossed the 7%-mark as food prices hardened, dashing hopes of any interest rate cut by the RBI to bolster a faltering economy. Separate data showed industrial output contracted for the sixth month in a row in August but the pace of decline narrowed, indicating the pick-up in activity as the economy opened for business after the strict coronavirus-induced lockdown.
But the inflation numbers remained worrisome with food inflation hitting the double-digit mark in September.
Data released by the National Statistical Office (NSO) on Monday showed inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), rose an annual 7.3% in September, compared to the 6.7% increase in August. Rural inflation was at 7.4%, while the rate in the urban areas was 7.3%. The Food Price Index rose to 10.7% in September, higher than August’s 9.1%, the data showed.
Demand for CAs up 37%, pay packages rise too
There has been a 37% increase in demand for Chartered Accountants (CAs) this year, as the campus placement season draws to a close. Around 2,923 jobs were offered for fresher Chartered Accountants compared to 2,135 in the placements session last year. The average annual salary offered also rose to Rs 8.9 lakh from Rs 7.4 lakh in the placement conducted during last year.
China’s imports, exports surge as global economy reopens
China’s imports grew at their fastest pace this year in September, while exports extended strong gains as more trading partners lifted coronavirus restrictions in a further boost to the world’s second-biggest economy. Exports in Sep rose 9.9% from a year earlier, customs data showed on Tuesday, broadly in line with analysts’ expectations and up from a solid 9.5% increase in Aug.
“Barring March, retail inflation was more than 6% in 10 months. Food inflation spiked to double digit (10.7%) after April,” said Sunil Sinha, principal economist at India Ratings. “On a quarterly basis, second quarter FY21 retail inflation at 6.95% was 24-quarter high and in the last three consecutive quarters it was in excess of 6%. India Ratings believes the RBI may pause on policy rate in the remainder of FY21 but will continue to take other measures to make financial markets function smoothly,” said Sinha.