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Better vegetable supplies to lower inflation: CEA

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NEW DELHI: A day after retail inflation shot up to a near six-year high, chief economic adviser (CEA) Krishnamurthy Subramanian played down fears of inflationary pressures building up in the economy and said prices are expected to soften in the months ahead as onion supplies improve.
“By July-August, I expect a convergence between headline and core inflation,” the government’s chief economist told reporters. Headline inflation refers to the overall number, while core inflation is the price rise, excluding food and fuel. Retail inflation was estimated at 7.6% in January and the recent spike has prompted the RBI to hold back further reduction in interest rates to spur economic growth.
Subramanian put the blame for the price rise on onion prices, which resulted in a 50% jump in vegetable prices. Prices of Pulses too are nearly 17% higher. Food inflation was estimated at 13.7% in January, moderating from 14.2% in the previous month, data released by the statistics ministry on Wednesday showed. The CEA also suggested the low base, with prices falling a year ago, for the spike in vegetable and pulses prices.

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