Free Press Journal

Retail inflation jumps to 5.39% in Apr on high food prices


Food Inflation

New Delhi: Retail inflation soared to 5.39 per cent in April on higher food prices, reversing a downward trend seen in recent months. The annual rate of price rise, based on consumer price index, in the previous month stood at 4.83 per cent, the lowest in six months. In April 2015, the rate of price rise was at 4.87 per cent.

The accelerated pace of inflation may play a spoilsport to any further interest rate cut by RBI, even as a sharp plunge in industrial production growth may still add to clamour for easing of monetary policy.

Food inflation rose to 6.32 per cent in April against 5.21 per cent in March, the data released by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) today showed. The rate of price rise in vegetables quickened to 4.82 per cent while fruits turned costlier by 1.66 per cent in April.

Generally, prices of fruits, vegetables and prepared food rise during summer season due to less availability. Inflation in ‘cereals and products’ remained flat at 2.43 per cent, but rose for ‘meat and fish’ category at 8.07 per cent and also for ‘oil and fats’ at 5.04 per cent.

The rate of price rise in commodities such as eggs and ‘pulses & products’ was slower than a year ago at 6.64 per cent and 34.13 per cent respectively. Likewise, cost of fuel and light was also less from a year ago, as inflation softened to 3.03 per cent.

The prices are collected by the government from selected towns by the Field Operations Division of National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) and from selected villages by the Department of Posts.

“From the perspective of RBI,…they will have to see what the future numbers come out and that would be the direction for RBI (for a rate cut in next policy meet)”, said Indranil Pan, Chief Economist IDFC Bank.

Industrial production growth plunged to 0.1 per cent in March due to poor performance of manufacturing and mining sectors coupled with sharp decline in output of capital goods. Industry had grown by 2.5 per cent in March 2015.