Mumbaikars have a benign perception of current inflation, shows the September round of inflation expectations survey conducted by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). This round surveyed 4,996 urban households across different cities and various occupational categories.
According to the survey, Mumbai residents thought the inflation rate in September was 6.6 per cent. While that was not as low as the 4.3 per cent perceived by Bengaluru residents, it was also not as high as 16 per cent found in Guwahati. These are the median numbers for each city. The actual retail inflation in September will only be released next week. Consumer price inflation in August, the latest month for which data is available, came in at 3.36 per cent. Upside risks to inflation prompted the RBI monetary policy committee to hold the policy rate unchanged at 6 per cent in its monetary policy review on Wednesday.
These risks — such as rising crude oil prices, farm loan waivers and states’ implementation of pay panel awards — could be the reason why Mumbai residents are expecting inflation to rise in the months ahead. They expect inflation to rise to 7.4 per cent by December-end, much higher than the Central Bank’s medium-term inflation target of 4 per cent. Guwahati’s three-month ahead expectation was the highest at 12.4 per cent. Bengaluru residents were the most optimistic at 4.7 per cent expectation for the three months ahead, followed by Ranchi at 5.4 per cent.
Guwahati people also had the highest one-year ahead expectations of 15.3 per cent, followed by Bhubaneswar at 12.5 per cent. Mumbai residents project it at 7.8 per cent. The most optimistic were Bengaluru residents at 5.5 per cent.