Consumer Price Index (CPI) based retail inflation fell to a three-month low of 6.77% in October, down from 7.41% in September 2022, data shared by the ministry of statistics & programme implementation shows.

Retail inflation, however, remained above the Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) upper tolerance band of 6% for the 10th consecutive month.

CPI inflation eased in both rural and urban areas. Retail inflation in rural areas was recorded at 6.98% last month, down from 7.56% in September. In urban areas, retail inflation fell to 6.50% in October, down from 7.27% in the preceding month.

Food inflation, which accounts for nearly half the CPI basket, came in at 7.01% in October compared with 8.60% in the previous month.

Inflation rate for vegetables stood at 7.77% in October while fuel and light inflation declined to 9.93% compared with 10.39% in September.

This comes days after RBI governor Shaktikanta Das compared the central bank's policy measures to target inflation with the great warrior Arjuna from Mahabharata. "No one can match 3 the prowess of Arjuna, but our constant endeavor is to keep an Arjuna's eye on inflation, which is our primary target," Das said earlier in November.

"We are closely monitoring the inflation trends as well as the effect of our past actions. In our view, price stability, sustained growth and financial stability need not be mutually exclusive," the RBI governor said.

In another development, India's annual rate of inflation based on the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) fell for the fifth straight month in October, ending its 18-month long double digit streak. Wholesale price inflation declined from a peak of 15.88% in May to 8.39% in October. WPI inflation was 10.7% in September and it stood at 13.83% in October last year.

The decline in the rate of WPI inflation was aided by a drop in prices of mineral oils, basic metals, fabricated metal products, textiles, other non-metallic mineral products, and minerals, according to the Ministry of Commerce & Industry. In the fuel and power basket, inflation eased to 23.17% in October as against 32.61% in September. For manufactured products, WPI inflation declined to 4.42% in October from 6.34% in September. Inflation in primary articles marginally fell to 11.04% in October compared with 11.73% in September. WPI inflation in vegetables rose to 17.61% in October 2022 from -17.45% a year ago in the same period.

According to a survey by community social media platform LocalCircles, the monthly household expenditure on vegetables has almost doubled over the last two years. 76% of the respondents saw their monthly vegetable budget increase between 25-100% in the last two years. To the question "How much has your monthly household expenditure on vegetables changed from 2020 to 2022?" 36% households said they are now spending 25-50% more to buy vegetables. Another 31% of the respondents put the increased expenditure to 50-100% and 9% to over 100% increase.

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