India, Nov. 14 -- A sharp increase in food prices pushed the Consumer Price Index (CPI), India's benchmark retail inflation measure, to 4.6% in October, a 16-month high.

Analysts said the headline number probably conceals overall tepid demand in the economy, evident in non-food non-fuel inflation falling to its lowest level in the current series (since January 2012). Retail food inflation in October was 7.9%, the highest since August 2016. Retail inflation, excluding the food and beverages sub-group grew at just 2.7% in October. The food and beverages group has a share of 46% in the CPI basket. The 2.7% is the lowest ever value in the current series. Core inflation, which captures non-food non-fuel prices, too posted an annual growth of ...