India July inflation eases to 9.22 percent

NEW DELHI, August 16, 2011 (AFP) – India’s annual inflation edged lower to 9.22 percent in July, official data showed Tuesday, still far above the comfort level of the country’s central bank, which has been raising rates aggressively. Growing fears about the stuttering global economy have fuelled speculation among economists that the bank may hit the pause button at its next scheduled policy meeting in September. Inflation, according to the benchmark wholesale price index, the nation’s most-watched cost-of-living monitor, slipped to 9.22 percent in July from June’s 9.44 percent, the commerce ministry reported.

July’s figure was in line with financial market forecasts but still well above the central Reserve Bank of India’s long-term goal of five percent.

India’s economy has slowed under the impact of 11 interest rate hikes by the bank since March 2010 aimed at taming inflation.

The bank has said it is prepared to sacrifice “some growth” to curb inflation.