Published On: Fri, Apr 12th, 2024

India’s retail inflation at 10-month low of 4.85%

New Delhi: Retail inflation declined to a 10-month low of 4.85% in March on an annual basis from 5.09% in February last month, as per government data released on Friday, April 12, 2024.

Overall, food and beverages inflation stood at 7.68% in March

A poll conducted by economists from Reuters had predicted retail inflation to come down to 4.91%.

The inflation rate has stayed within the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) tolerance range of 2-6%. Compared to the previous month’s decrease of -0.11%, the inflation rate rose to 0.16% in the latest period, on a sequential basis.

India’s industrial production jumped to a four-month high at 5.7% in March as per data from the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation. The industrial production was 4.2% in the previous month.

Food inflation, constituting nearly half of the overall consumer price basket, rose by 8.52% in March, a slight decrease from the 8.66% increase in February. Fuel prices saw a year-on-year decline of 3.2% in March, compared to a 0.77% fall in February.

The inflation rates in rural and urban areas stood at 5.45% and 4.14%, respectively, showing a decrease from 5.51% and 5.89% recorded in the same month the previous year.

Prices of cereals increased to 8.37% from 7.60% a month earlier, while meat and fish rose to 6.36% from 5.21% in March. However, both vegetables and pulses showed a slight downward trend.

Overall, food and beverages inflation stood at 7.68% in March, down from 7.76% in February.

Apart from food, fuel and light inflation declined further from -0.77% in February to -3.24% in March, while housing inflation dropped to 2.77% from 2.88% sequentially.

The latest inflation data follow the RBI’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) announcement on April 5, where they decided to maintain the policy repo rate at 6.5% for the seventh consecutive time.

As per the latest forecast from the central bank, Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation is projected to be 4.5% for the current financial year.

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