1. What is core inflation?
Core inflation refers to the inflation rate calculated without considering the impact of food and energy prices. It provides insight into the underlying inflation trend and helps identify broader economic factors influencing inflation.
2. What was the core inflation rate in July?
In July, core inflation stood at 4.9%, down from 5.1% in June. This decline in core inflation is seen as positive, but economists suggest that it may remain elevated in the upcoming months.
3. How does core inflation relate to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI)?
The RBI uses core inflation to gauge the underlying inflationary pressures in the economy. While the decline in core inflation is reassuring, it doesn't alleviate the overall concern given the high headline inflation numbers.
4. How did retail inflation (headline CPI) change in July?
Retail inflation, measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), increased to 7.4% in July from 4.8% in June. This was higher than the RBI's flexible tolerance range of 2-6%.
5. What has been the RBI's response to rising inflation?
The RBI has called for supply-side interventions to cushion food price shocks and maintain stability in prices. It has emphasized the need for timely actions to mitigate the severity and duration of such shocks.
6. How is core inflation linked to monetary policy decisions?
Monetary policy decisions, like changes in the repo rate, are influenced by core inflation trends. The RBI aims to manage inflation and ensure price stability, which in turn affects interest rates and borrowing costs.
7. How does the RBI's recent stance align with core inflation?
The RBI has taken a cautious approach due to the rising inflation trend. While a decline in core inflation is noted, the central bank remains vigilant about potential spillover risks into core readings and inflation expectations.
8. How do economists view the future of core inflation?
Economists expect core inflation to remain sticky around 5% in the near term, driven by resilient demand. This indicates that while the decline is reassuring, core inflation remains a factor to watch in the coming months.
9. How does food inflation impact core inflation?
Food inflation, as a component of core inflation, requires supply-side measures to control. The effectiveness of government interventions in bridging demand-supply gaps for food items like tomatoes and onions remains uncertain.
10. What implications does core inflation have on monetary policy decisions?
The elevated core inflation, combined with rising food prices, limits the possibility of an immediate rate cut by the RBI. The central bank must balance these factors to ensure price stability while fostering economic growth.