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Inflation to ‘moderate’ in coming months, says Rangarajan

Food inflation has risen to a near six-month high of 10.60% for the week ended 8th October. Headline inflation was 9.72% in September

New Delhi: Describing rising inflation as a matter of concern, chairman of the Prime Minister’s economic panel C Rangarajan today said that the rate of price rise would “moderate” in the coming months on the back of good monsoon and increased availability of food-grains, reports PTI.

“I believe that even if in this particular week it (inflation) has risen, it will come down. I believe that the monsoon has an effect on the availability of food-grains—which you will see in months ahead,” he said here while addressing the Economic Editors’ conference.

Food inflation rose to a nearly six-month high of 10.60% for the week ended 8th October. Headline inflation was 9.72% in September.

Answering questions on the growth prospects of the economy, the chairman of the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC) said that it would be 8% during 2011-12, marginally down from its earlier estimate of 8.2 percent.

“The PMEAC had projected a growth rate of 8.2% in July 2011. There are many factors which will require us to adjust it downwards. I expect that the growth rate in the current year will be close to 8 percent,” Mr Rangarajan added.

Agricultural growth would be stronger than what was anticipated, he said, adding that “the industrial growth rate will be lower, while the services sector growth rate will remain more or less the same.”

As regards fiscal deficit, Mr Rangarajan said that it would be a ‘Herculean task’ for the government to retain it at 4.6% of GDP (Gross Domestic Product) estimated at the time of the presentation of the Budget for 2011-12.

“It could be slightly higher than 4.6 percent. I think it is very difficult to talk about numbers. It could exceed (it) by a small margin,” he added.

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