By Anant Vijay Kala

NEW DELHI--India's consumer inflation likely edged to its lowest level in more than an year in October, as rises in food prices cooled.

The consumer-price index is expected to have risen 4.10% from a year earlier, according to the median estimate of 15 economists polled by The Wall Street Journal. That compares with a rise of 4.31% in September.

The estimates ranged between 3.90% and 5.40%.

"Inflation at the retail level is expected to remain at around similar levels as last month as a positive base effect is likely to negate any impact of higher prices on account of the festival season," said Rishi Shah, an economist at Deloitte.

Inflation has decelerated significantly since July thanks to a slower rise in food prices as normal levels of monsoon rainfall for the first time in three years helped ease supply concerns. Food inflation decelerated to 3.88% from a year earlier in September from 8.35% in July.

However, stronger demand ahead of the Hindu festival of Diwali, when many Indians make big-ticket purchases, is expected to have stoked price pressures.

"While we expect headline inflation to moderate further, it is unlikely to [ease] below 4% for now," said Tushar Arora, an economist at HDFC Bank.

The Reserve Bank of India wants to see inflation stay below 5% by March, and eventually ease to 4% by the following year.

Meanwhile, India's wholesale prices likely rose for the seventh consecutive month in October as global commodity prices slowly rise. The median forecast of 10 economists was for the wholesale-price index to climb 3.8% from a year earlier, quicker than the 3.57% increase in August.

Wholesaleprices fell for 17 successive months until March, driven by the sharp decline in commodity prices, particularly crude oil.

The government will announce the consumer prices and wholesale prices data Tuesday.

Write to Anant Vijay Kala at

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November 11, 2016 02:11 ET (07:11 GMT)

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