Saturday May 14, 2022

India’s CPI inflation at 8-year high

India’s CPI inflation at 8-year high

Picture used for illustrative purpose.

Sounding a red alert on India’s consumer price index (CPI) inflation at an 8-year high print of 7.79 per cent YoY in April, Acuite Ratings has said it may trigger quicker rate hikes.

“If inflation pressures continue to mount there is a likelihood of additional hikes thereby taking the rate to its pre- pandemic level of 5.15 per cent or even higher in FY23. Additionally, we also expect CRR to be hiked by another 50 bps by first half of FY23,” Acuite Ratings said.

Given the tone of urgency in RBI’s statement to support the altered inflation-growth dynamics, “we now revise our call and expect the RBI to hike repo rate by an additional 60 bps in the rest of FY23”.

The increasing price pressures was in motion even before the onslaught of the geopolitical conflicts. However, lingering war between Russia and Ukraine, unprecedented level of sanctions, elevated oil and commodity prices along with prolonged supply chain disruptions have escalated the inflationary concerns both in the global as well as domestic economies, it said.

Globally most economies have shifted from an extended disinflationary phase to tackling strong inflationary concerns, causing key central banks monetary policy rhetoric to switch to extreme hawkishness and policy tightening in 2022 from pandemic-era accommodative policies.

“From domestic standpoint, for FY23, inflation drivers are likely to face considerable pressure from persistent hardening of input prices. The heightened pressure from commodity prices is also coinciding with unlocking of the economy post Omicron wave while vaccination coverage continues to gain traction. While we stick to our estimate of 5.9 per cent for FY23 CPI inflation, we now believe that there is a buildup of upside risks,” Acuite Ratings said.

“Going forward, we expect the core inflation to remain sticky at elevated levels given upward revision of petrol and diesel prices by the OMCs in order to reduce the under-recoveries being accumulated by them at the current crude prices of USD 100 plus per barrel.”

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